Exclusive: Striking starlet chasing the Liverpool dream

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Liverpool are keeping a close eye on Scotland's newest rising star, a striker that says his footballing dream is play for the Anfield club.

Mark Shankland, who signed his first professional contract with Aye United earlier this week, has been tracked by host of Britain's biggest clubs, with The Reds currently leading the race.

But instead of making a move to the Premier League, or to either of the Old Firm pair, Shankland has decided to stay at the club that gave him his professional debut, against Brechin City last month.

However, playing in the Scottish First Division, as he will do next season after Ayr's promotion, is far from the extent of Shankland's ambitions.

"As far as a move to Liverpool in the future would be a dream move," he said.

"I was told by Ayr that Liverpool are going to monitor my performances so fingers crossed.

"I know that the scouts for Liverpool are keeping tabs on me for the future."

Liverpool's interest stemmed from a week the striker spent training with the club, seven days that saw him scoring twice against Sheffield United in a trial game.

Having now made the step up from the academy to the first-team, Shankland is likely to get more opportunities to display his undeniable talent, something that could further swell interest surrounding him.

Despite his impact, the hype and the pull of Anfield Road, at just 15 years old, Shankland isn't in the mood to get distracted.

"I am delighted that Ayr have giving me this chance as they keep reminding me they think highly of me," he said.

"Just now I am totally focused on doing a job for Ayr when I get the chance and after the two years I'll see what happens."

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