Lawrence Shankland has options on the table this summer. According to The Scottish Sun, Sunderland have offered Shankland a contract at The Stadium of Light.
Jack Ross wants to add quality to his ranks ahead of the 2019/20 season. Sunderland fell short of promotion last season, losing in the play-off final against Charlton Athletic.
Shankland has been identified as a target to win promotion next season. The free agent was prolific for Ayr United last season and Sunderland will hope he can replicate that form if he moves to England.
But the 23-year-old has other options available. This report adds that Hearts have entered the race for Shankland. They can offer him a route to the Scottish Premiership.
Hull City and Nottingham Forest, who both play in England’s second-tier, have also been mentioned, alongside Rangers. So Sunderland face a transfer battle for Shankland.
The Scottish striker has been prolific for Ayr over the past two seasons. In two years, he has racked up a tally of 61 goals and 24 assists in just 73 games. Sunderland could be his next challenge.
This is the type of gamble that Ross needs to take. Sunderland have lacked an out-and-out goalscorer since Josh Maja left for Bordeaux. Charlie Wyke and Will Grigg have been unable to fill Maja’s boots just yet.
What Shankland can offer is a proven track record. He is still young and he can get even better if he can quickly adapt to the English game. On a free transfer, this seems a no-brainer for Sunderland.