Nottingham Forest eye Shankland move

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Nottingham Forest are lining up a move for Ayr United striker Lawrence Shankland, according to The Scottish Sun.

Shankland has been in prolific form in Scotland and is wanted by a number of clubs, with Martin O’Neill’s side one of many attempting to recruit the 23-year-old.

What’s the word?

Shankland has been turning in some genuinely amazing performances north of the border this season and has netted 30 goals in as many games in all competitions.

His contract, however, expires at the end of the campaign and he is set to leave the club.

Ayr are in the second-tier in Scotland and Shankland has been spearheading their hunt for promotion – they are currently second, two points behind leaders Ross County.

Shankland has scored 20 goals in 22 outings in the league, including four in one game in a 5-0 thrashing of Dundee United in November.

The Scottish Sun report that Forest are among a number of clubs, including Hull City and Swansea City, keeping tabs on the striker.

Swansea, they claim, saw a bid worth £200,000 for the forward rejected in January.

A major punt

Shankland would be something of a gamble for Forest.

He appears to be too good for Ayr and he also has a pedigree of scoring across the Scottish leagues.

Across 85 games in the Championship, Shankland scored 34 goals and laid on 10 assists, while he has 33 goals and 13 assists in 43 games in League One.

It remains to be seen, however, if he would take to English football as he has to the Scottish game.

He is a Scotland Under-21 international and may be worth the risk if he is willing to move on a free transfer this summer, but Forest would be wise to hold some reservations.

Nevertheless, the club’s top scorer this season is Lewis Grabban, with 16 goals, while Matthew Cash, with eight, is second.

It is not difficult to see the attraction, then, of bringing in such a prolific young player, but he cannot be expected to immediately start scoring in every game he plays.