Hearts have opened contract talks with Lawrence Shankland to entice him to remain with the Jambos amidst interest in the prolific goalscorer. Celtic had been cited as being interested in taking the Scotland Internationalist but this has rumour has died down in recent weeks.
As reported by The Sun, Hearts manager Steven Naismith has said that talks are underway to secure the 28-year-old on a long-term contract. A report earlier this month from HITC said that Brendan Rodgers was interested in signing the Heart of Midlothian skipper.
The Celtic manager has already said that he rates Shankland so there could be some interest there. However, there is a question as to whether he would represent the quality that the manager spoke about requiring as he looks to improve European results. With that said, he could represent a viable domestic option and be well placed to convert chances that are created in the wide areas.
In 75 appearances for Hearts, Shankland has scored 46 goals and assisted on 7 occasions. This record is mirrored at both Dundee United and Ayr United, 40 goals in 74 appearances at Tannadice and 61 goals and 24 assists in 73 appearances at Somerset Park. Shankland is the main man at Tynecastle, sporting the armband in Craig Gordon’s absence, and Hearts will be keen to tie him down.
It seems unlikely that Celtic would move for the player given that turns 29 this year. The Scottish Champions are close to signing Nicolas Kuhn from Rapid Vienna and are expected to complete the deal in the next few days. The manager is expected to prioritise the signing of a left back and a centre forward as well as shifting through the periphery of the squad.