The Lawrence Shankland to Rangers story took a big twist these last 24 to 48 hours after it emerged Celtic have genuine interest in the Hearts striker.
There are a number of clubs looking at Shankland, he is a red-hot forward and arguably Scotland’s most in-form player at present, and it’s alerted clubs down south as well as Rangers.
But it’s Celtic’s interest which is ringing alarm bells for some Rangers fans, because quite simply if they bid £6M or Hearts’ documented asking price (£5M+) Rangers will be unable to compete with that aside a cash-plus-player swap.
It of course screams of Scott Allan echoes, when a dyed-in-the-wool Rangers fan, playing for Hibs, was destined to switch to Rangers but Hibs wouldn’t sell to a rival, aka Rangers.
Celtic ended up meeting the asking price, and he went there – purely, as former manager Ronny Deila joked, to stop Rangers getting him.
Shankland is slightly different – he would not be frozen out if he doesn’t sign the contract extension Hearts have offered him, he’s just too important to their European aspirations.
He also would not go to Celtic, because he will know it’s more about stopping Rangers having him than it being genuinely for his qualities. He is of course a Rangers man but primarily a footballer, and he has to go where the offer and wage is, but where his career will bloom further.
If Rangers want a top class striker, want Shankland, they will require to remove their finger from their backside and make the move happen quickly. If a cash-plus-player deal is needed, Rangers have many assets to be used as makeweights.
Any more dawdling and the hitman will certainly move elsewhere – and if it’s not to England, Celtic may well be the side to nab him from under our noses.
He’s on fire, and Rangers need to be quick.
That is, assuming, Philippe Clement wants him.
But why would he not…?