Hull City providing strong competition in crowded race for Sunderland striking target

Hull City are providing late competition in the race for Ayr United striker Lawrence Shankland.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 28th June 2019, 2:45 pm
Lawrence Shankland during his short spell at St Mirren

Sunderland have a long-standing interest in the 23-year-old who has scored a remarkable 50 goals in the last two league seasons, firstly in Scottish League One and then the Championship.

He worked briefly with Black Cats boss Jack Ross at St Mirren before moving to Greenock Morton, shortly before his hugely successful move to Ayr.

He has been linked with a host of clubs throughout British football and Dundee United sporting director Tony Ashgar confirmed earlier this week that they have made a bid.

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“We are in talks with Lawrence Shankland’s representatives and we have made an offer to come to Dundee United,” he said.

“We see Lawrence as a top player and we want him to be part of our Championship challenge and beyond.

“We know Lawrence is very much a player in demand and has a lot of offers elsewhere and we are hopeful things will come to a conclusion, either way, very quickly.”

It’s thought the most likely scenario remains a move south of the border, with Shankland’s stock high.

Championship side Hull, who appointed Grant McCann as their new manager last week, are making a strong late push for the forward as they look to bolster their currently thin striking ranks.

With former Black Cats Frazier Campbell’s contract soon to expire, Nouha Dicko is their only senior option.

The chance to step up to the second tier would be a significant incentive for the young striker, with a final decision expected soon.

Sunderland are still yet to make their first sugning of the summer but Stewart Donald has insisted that are in a position to move when the right player becomes available.

Speaking on twitter earlier this week, he said: “We had a squad that finished 5th and needs to collect around 10 more points than last season.

“Any new signings are coming into a more settled environment and we probably need around 6/8 new players this season & we are sure to make some signings soon. [We are being] patient not complacent.”