Robbie Neilson has acknowledged there is bound to be interest from other teams in Lawrence Shankland, but insisted the club do not need to sell.

The 24-year-old has been in fine fettle throughout 2019/20, scoring a mightily impressive 28 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions so far. Already the likes of Celtic, Rangers and host of teams south of the border have been rumoured to be interested.

Shankland joined Dundee United from Ayr United last summer following a haul of 34 goals in all competitions, and there is no doubt he is one of the Championship’s best talents.

Shankland is prolific in the Championship (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s no wonder that your Celtic and Rangers’ of the world have been reported admirers. His prolificacy has been ever so deadly over the last two seasons.

Neilson is realistic, but also defiant over his star man.

He told BBC Sportsound: “We know when a guy scores 20, 30 goals for you there is going to be interest.

“We don’t have to sell him and for us it’s trying to keep a hold of him for as long as we can and enjoy him while he’s here.

Neilson bracing for Shankland interest (Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images)

“There will be a lot of people interested. We’re in a position where we don’t have to sell but we understand that there will be teams interested in him.”

Only a matter of time

Neilson is to be admired for his stance on Shankland but realistically, it is only a matter of time before Shankland moves to a bigger club.

His ability to score all types of goals and regularly suggests he has the quality to be playing at a higher level, and it’s likely the club’s resolve will be seriously tested.

Despite Neilson’s comments, Dundee United could find it difficult not to cash in on Shankland, especially with matchday income currently on hold for all Scottish clubs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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