Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson determined to beat Sunderland and Hull City to Lawrence Shankland signing

Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson has revealed why he is keen to pip Sunderland to the signing of Lawrence Shankland - having submitted an offer for the striker.

By Mark Donnelly
Saturday, 29 June, 2019, 08:00
Dundee United want to pip Sunderland to the signing of Lawrence Shankland

The Scottish Championship side revealed earlier this week that they had offered terms to the former Ayr United man, who netted 34 times last season.

And while there remains intense competition for the striker - with the Black Cats and Hull City among the sides interested - reports from north of the border suggest that the offered made by Neilson’s side is a ‘lucrative’ one.

But their manager knows that means little when it comes to sealing a deal - and admits he would have preferred for the offer to remain behind closed doors.

“Shankland is one that came up and we would have liked to have kept it under wraps but it came out,” he said, speaking to The Courier.

“We decided to comment on it and be honest about it.

“We have offered a deal and it could get done tomorrow or it could happen on August 31.

“Until a player is here with a scarf over his head… Mind you even at that point you can’t be sure!

“No, until the contract is signed you just have to wait and see.”

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And while a deal is by no means guaranteed, the Dundee United boss is determined to pip English competition to land the striker - believing that Shankland would add some extra quality to his side.

“Lawrence is a player who is available and one we would like to bring in,” admitted Neilson.

“We want to be going for good players. We don’t just want to be going around the merry-go-round of the same players.

“I think it is important that we aim high.

“I am more than happy with the squad we have at the moment but we could still bring maybe two or three more in.

“They will have to be boys that will bring in more quality and improve the squad as opposed to just fill it up.”

Sunderland have also been linked with John Marquis as Jack Ross eyes some extra firepower ahead of the new League One campaign.