Coventry City continue to be linked with interest in prolific Scottish striker Lawrence Shankland.
The Sky Blues have watched the 25-year-old Dundee United star for the last couple of seasons, stretching back to his time with Ayr United in the Scottish Championship when they spotted centre-back Michael Rose as a result of that scouting mission – the City defender revealing only this summer to the Sky Blues Extra podcast that he was aware the club were at games to watch Shankland back in 2018 and therefore made sure he took advantage of the fact by performing well in front of watching eyes.
Those eyes were this week reported to be north of the border again to see Shankland score a wonder goal at Tannadice that helped the Tangerines beat St Mirren 2-1 on Saturday.
But how serious is the Sky Blue interest in the Scotland international whose stock continues to rise, seemingly with every game?
Having fired Dundee United to promotion to the Scottish Premier with 25 goals (29 in all competitions) last term after signing on a free transfer from Ayr, Shankland has two years left on his current deal and will not come cheap – some suggesting he could be valued at between £2m-£3m.
Mark Robins’s marquee signing of the summer has been midfielder Gustavo Hamer, who joined for a reported £1.3m from Dutch club PEC Zwolle – the highest fee paid by the club for a player in 12 years since they bought Freddy Eastwood for £1.6m – a measure of how far City have come, maybe, now that they’re mixing it up back in the Championship.
But big spending doesn’t fit the current business model at the club which prides itself on producing talented young players of its own and selling them on, or plucking them from relative obscurity, like Sam McCallum, developing them and then cashing in.
Add to that the current financial crisis in football which has seen clubs starved of vital income due to having no fans at games as a result of the pandemic, and money is clearly tight, with windfalls like the recent sell-on cash from Callum Wilson going on general house keeping.
If City were going to make a move for Shankland, they’d surely have done it when they had the chance to get him for nothing at the end of his Ayr contract last summer.
That’s not to say they didn’t try. The player, however, has gone on record as saying that while he was flattered by interest from England and other Scottish clubs, he felt a move to Dundee United was the right one for his progression at that stage of his career.
A year on and City have added the prolific goal scorer Tyler Walker to their ranks to compete with and complement Matty Godden, in whom there’s a great deal of confidence that they can deliver at this level.
And as such, it’s fair to say that Shankland remains merely a watching brief.