Date: 18th December 2018 at 6:05pm
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Celtic have been warned that Lawrence Shankland isn’t for sale during the January transfer window.

The hoops have been linked with a move for the striker who has scored 18 times in 16 Championship matches for Ayr United.

That form has taken Ayr to the top of the Championship sparking hopes of a return to the top flight of Scottish football for the first time in 40 years.

Brendan Rodgers has stated that he wants to sign two strikers in January but they will be required to go straight into the squad to compete with Odsonne Edouard.

Sunderland and Swansea have both been linked with Shankland but Ayr chief Lachlan Cameron is only interested in a deal that will see the striker loaned back for the remainder of the season.

In a perfect world that would be the scenario we’d like — to have Shankland loaned back immediately,” he explained to The Sun.

He would be secure for his future, and Ayr would get his services until the end of the season, so everybody is happy.

We’re in a very weird position in that Lawrence is almost priceless because we have a once in a generation opportunity here to go for it.

The long-term future of Ayr would be greatly enhanced with promotion to the Premiership.

I’m not saying we’re going to do it, but I want to give us every opportunity to achieve that.

The only thing I’ve heard is Swansea were going to offer us £200,000 for Lawrence.”

Celtic’s need for strikers is immediate, highlighted by last week’s announcement about Leigh Griffiths taking a break from football.

Shankland started his career at Queens Park but after earning a move to Aberdeen drifted out on loan to Dunfermline, St Mirren and Morton.

Since joining Ayr he has averaged just over a goal a game helping Ian McCall’s side to promotion to the Championship before setting the pace in the second tier.

Celtic keeper Ross Doohan has been on loan at Somerset Park this season but it seems highly unlikely that his team-mate will be making the reverse journey to Celtic Park.