DUNDEE UNITED boss Robbie Neilson has issued a ‘Hands off’ warning to Celtic on striker Lawrence Shankland who was watched again by the Hoops in the 2-2 Scottish Cup draw with Hibs at Tannadice yesterday.
The Scotland international was spied on by the champions’ talent-spotter Tosh McKinlay as he scored his 26th goal in 27 games to make it 1-1 against the Easter Road men with the replay now due for Edinburgh a week tomorrow.
Nielson is eager to hold onto his Scotland international and, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Lawrence is a good player. It wasn’t just his class with the goal it was his link play. He’s so fluid on the ball.
“It was great for him to get his goal. I think he will still be here in February although today’s not going to help us.
“I’ve said for a long time that getting promoted is more valuable to us than selling one of our key players. I’m expecting him to be here until the end of the season and what happens beyond that will be dependent on what offers come in.”
Parkhead gaffer Neil Lennon has just shelled out £3.5million to sign Polish striker Patryk Klimala who made his debut as an 80th-minute substitute in the 2-1 win over Partick Thistle at Firhill on Saturday night.
Queens Park Rangers sent director of football Les Ferdinand to watch Shankland in the recent Dundee derby and Crystal Palace have also been credited with an interest during this transfer window.
United are Premiership-bound as they lead the Championship by 17 points and Shankland still has two-and-a-half years to run on his contract.