Liverpool keep 'close eye' on starlet after Old Firm rejection

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Football News

Liverpool and Old Firm pair Celtic and Rangers have been left disappointed by the news that Ayr United striker Mark Shankland has signed a two-year deal with the club.

The 15-year-old, the youngster player in the club's history, will make the step up to the Ayr first-team next season after spending last season in the club's youth academy.

The move will disappoint Liverpool, who the striker spent a week training with, while Celtic and Rangers were also said to be interested.

Ayr chairman Lachlan Cameron said: "Mark has a bright future ahead of him and we believe that to leave to play in England or the Old Firm at this stage of his career would be the wrong move for him or any of our youngsters.

“Mark was invited to attend the Liverpool Academy recently for a week’s training. He played in a couple of trial matches and scored twice against Sheffield United and Liverpool have indicated that they will keep a close eye on Mark while he continues his development here.”

Shankland said: "I am delighted to sign for Ayr. The Academy coaches are brilliant and the backroom staff have advised me about how I can progress here, whereas I might fall into the cracks at a team the size of the Old Firm.”

With neither Old Firm side able to spend big this summer, both Celtic and Rangers are looking for cut price deals to help build their squad for the new season.

Celtic missed out on the SPL title by just a point to Rangers, after Walter Smith's men thrashed Kilmarnock on the final day of last season.

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