Chairman on potential striker deal
Sunderland have been linked with Ayr United’s prolific striker Lawrence Shankland ahead of the January transfer window but the Scottish club’s chairman says he would prefer to only let the frontman go if he is loaned back for the rest of the season.
Speaking to the Scottish Sun, Lachlan Cameron also denied rumours that Swansea had offered £200,000 for Shankland - who has scored 28 goals in all competitions this season - and said that amount would not be enough as the rewards for keeping the player and potentially getting promoted to the Scottish Premiership is far greater:
In a perfect world that would be the scenario we’d like — to have Shankland loaned back immediately. 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. I’ve not talked to Swansea directly and we’ve had no official communication. That £200,000 does not really do anything for us.
We’ve got a realistic chance of finishing, first, second or third, and that’s with Shankland. Without Shankland in the team I think it would be much tougher. If we ended up in fourth, fifth or sixth the difference in prize money alone is more than £200,000.
So it would be pointless to sell Lawrence at that price, even with incentives and percentages of future transfer fees.
Shankland is in demand after a free-scoring season and, according to former Ayr forward Tam McManus, eight English clubs had him watched during Ayr’s 3-3 draw with Ross County at the weekend, in which the player scored twice.
He is a class act big man unfortunately I think now financially out of reach for clubs like Hibs. Been told 8 English clubs are here watching him today. https://t.co/tbWMqdCb8W— Tam McManus (@The_Tman10) December 15, 2018
Khazri compares Saint-Etienne to Sunderland
Fresh from Yann M’Vila’s claims about Saint-Etienne being comparable to Sunderland, his ASSE team-mate and another former ex-Sunderland player Wahbi Khazri has made similar claims.
Speaking to France Football, Khazri explained the reasoning for him joining Saint-Etienne rather than returning to Rennes and the Tunisian captain said the spirit of the club as well as the city’s love for it’s team - just as he experienced in Sunderland - was the main reason:
Saint-Etienne, it smells of football, people love it. I experienced the same thing in Sunderland where, every weekend, the stadium is full, whether you play against the first [place team] or the last.
Nyron still playing
Nyron Nosworthy may be 38 now but he is still playing football regularly.
The former Sunderland favourite has extended his playing days by featuring for Lambeth All Stars in the ‘Metropolitan Sunday League Ron Pope Premier Division’.
The player who played 125 games for Sunderland in all competitions will also be taking part in this season’s FA Sunday Cup as Lambeth All Stars take on Worthing and Horsham District Sunday League side Broadwater this Sunday.