Rangers’ pursuit of Shankland as price rises to £7M amid SPFA award

Rangers’ pursuit of Shankland as price rises to £7M amid SPFA award
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 26: Lawrence Shankland of Scotland inspects the pitch with teammates prior to the international friendly match between Scotland and Northern Ireland at Hampden Park on March 26, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

So as we all now know, rightly, Hearts captain Lawrence Shankland won SPFA Player of the Season over Rangers’ duo Jack Butland and James Tavernier, and some guy from Celtic.

Butland wasn’t winning because goalkeepers never win these – last one who did was Aberdeen’s Theo Snelders in 1989.

James Tavernier didn’t even come close to deserving to win, we’re only amused he was nominated.

But Shankland deserved the nomination, and the win, and now attention naturally turns to his links to Rangers, and whether Rangers will finally put a formal bid in for him and secure such a long-time transfer saga.

There are two big issues: one, why do so many Rangers fans still continue to talk him down as overrated – or were they the same ones saying the same things about Lewis Ferguson?

The second big question is how will this award affect his price?

Shankland was currently an estimated £3M-£6M regardless of his contract and amortisation. He’s Hearts’ star player and the biggest asset player outside the Old Firm and maybe Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski.

Now that he’s confirmed as the national POTY we will admit it’s likely to affect his price tag by adding at least £1M more.

So he’s more likely to be £4M-£7M, and Hearts will not be keen on letting their key star go for the lower end of that scale unless Rangers add a lot of sweeteners and addons.

So the reality is Shankland’s value now is close to £7M and Hearts will wring that for all it’s worth if any serious attempt at signing him comes in.

Now, of course, the issue they do have is that final year of his deal, meaning his market value at £7M doesn’t actually matter – they will not want to lose him next summer for nothing.

And they don’t want to lose him this summer with European football coming up.

So they’re in a bit of a bind if a bid or two comes – he’s admitted himself Hearts can’t sustain his ambitions, and he has hinted that he’d cream himself for the Rangers move, but he’s being professional as well.

What’s for sure is Shankland and Rangers is a topic very much back on the agenda.

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