Hearts CEO Andrew McKinlay has made it clear that any club hoping to sign Lawrence Shankland in January would have had to break the Scottish transfer record. Despite interest from Rangers, no offers were made for the Premiership’s top scorer. Hearts are aiming for a £5 million windfall by finishing third and believe Shankland is crucial to achieving this goal.
McKinlay stated, “It had to be upward of £4.4m” – the current record set by Scott Brown’s move years ago. He emphasized that selling Shankland without securing group-stage football would have been too high a risk. The club is pleased to retain him for at least another 18 months but acknowledges contract negotiations have stalled.
With Shankland’s contract entering its final 18 months, Hearts are eager to secure him on a new deal. However, talks have reached an impasse with McKinlay admitting, “Any contract we’ve put on the table… wouldn’t be acceptable to him.” While further discussions may occur, both parties seem content to leave matters as they stand following the closure of the transfer window.
The situation underscores the power dynamics in modern football where players can dictate terms due to their ability to run down contracts if desired. As such, while Hearts value Shankland highly and wish to keep him long-term, they also recognize his leverage in negotiations.
In summary, despite speculation surrounding Lawrence Shankland’s future at Hearts, he remains integral to their European ambitions. Contract talks may continue but for now, both player and club appear willing to focus on immediate goals rather than contractual commitments.