Hearts field enquiries for Lawrence Shankland as Saudi Arabian clubs circle for star striker

Lawrence Shankland scored 28 goals for Hearts last season.Lawrence Shankland scored 28 goals for Hearts last season.
Lawrence Shankland scored 28 goals for Hearts last season.
Hearts have fielded interest from clubs in Saudi Arabia and England for their main striker Lawrence Shankland.

The Scotland internationalist scored 28 goals for the Jambos last year following his arrival from Germinal Beerschot and has continued that good form into this season, netting in the opening-day win over St Johnstone and what could be a vital goal in the 2-1 defeat in the first leg of their Europa Conference League qualifier against Rosenborg last week.

Shankland is under contract until the summer of 2025 and cost Hearts in the region of £500,000 when they bought him last summer. The Edinburgh Evening News is reporting that Hearts would only be tempted to open discussions if a fee of at least £3million was tabled. The reported interest in the 28-year-old comes from clubs in the English Championship and from Saudi Arabia, with clubs in the Pro League currently awash with cash and looking to purchase players from Europe’s principal leagues. Celtic forward Jota joined Al-Ittihad for £25m earlier this summer.

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Shankland has reignited his Scotland career and become a fans’ favourite at Tynecastle since joining last summer, but the opportunity to earn life-changing money in Saudi Arabia should the opportunity materialise could be difficult for him to turn down as he enters the prime years of his career. Hibs forward Martin Boyle made the switch in January last year, joining Al-Faisaly before returning to Hibs six months later after the club suffered relegation from the top flight.

Hearts have forward options in Northern Irish striker Liam Boyce and have strengthened their attack recently with the arrivals of Kyosuke Tagawa and Kenneth Vargas. However, if Shankland were to depart, it would leave a huge void and would force the Jambos’ management team to dip into the transfer market once more.

One area of the pitch that Hearts are trying to strengthen is right-back, with Nathaniel Atkinson their only recognised player in that position. The Tynecastle hierarchy are in discussions with Brighton and Hove Albion over a season-long loan for 20-year-old defender Odel Offiah, the son of legendary former rugby league winger Martin Offiah. Hearts have a strong relationship with the Seagulls following the transfer of Alex Cochrane and Hearts are hopeful they can add Offiah to their ranks in the coming days.