Lawrence Shankland lifts lid on Hearts future, contract talks and how he got through speculation

The Jambos talisman continued his fine run of form at Dens Park and says he expects discussions to resume

Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland expects to reopen contract talks with the Tynecastle club later this year but admitted he has “a lot to consider” after his future was subject of intense speculation during last month’s transfer window.

Shankland was heavily linked with a move to Rangers and clubs in England on the back of goalscoring exploits for Hearts, with the 28-year-old taking this season’s total to 21 after netting twice in Saturday’s 3-2 Premiership win over Dundee. While there was no formal bid made to the Jambos for Shankland’s services, Hearts felt it necessary to try and offer the Scotland hitman an improved long-term contract, but both deals – the last of which was given a deadline on last Wednesday – were turned down by the player and his representatives. Shankland still has a year-and-a-half left on his current agreement at Hearts, who are 12 points clear in third place in the league, and while he is content at Hearts and open to further discussions, he says he will talk things over with his family before making a call on his long-term future.

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Speaking for the first time since the transfer window closed, Shankland said in an interview with the BBC: “Obviously it [speculation] brings pressure, there's a lot of talk and noise around the place. I was sick of my own name, to be honest, hearing it that much – and my family were the same. I was fully focused on my football. Even in December, leading up to it [the transfer window], I stayed focused on my football. I was performing well, still scoring goals and doing my job for Hearts. That's the most important thing I could focus on and do. That got me through it and let the noise be in the background.

Lawrence Shankland scored twice as Hearts defeated Dundee 3-2 at Dens Park.Lawrence Shankland scored twice as Hearts defeated Dundee 3-2 at Dens Park.
Lawrence Shankland scored twice as Hearts defeated Dundee 3-2 at Dens Park.

“Until someone comes to Hearts and says, 'here, this is what we are giving you and you are accepting it', it doesn't come as far as me. That probably allowed me to go and enjoy my football and keep focused. I'm involved quite far down the line in these things. Nothing came about. I was happy to be here before and I'm happy to be after – I never once said that I am desperate to go out the door. I'm enjoying my football and scoring goals.”

On the contract offers last month, Shankland added. “Obviously it got announced that there was a deadline on that deal. I've got 18 months left on my contract so I imagine we will talk again. I think the contract offer was to put it to bed at the end of the window. We could draw a line under it and move on. I imagine we'll get back into it further down the line. But I've got a lot to consider, the age I'm at. That's something I'll do personally with my family. But I'm enjoying my football at the minute – I can't really not enjoy it as I'm scoring a lot of goals and it's going well.”