Dundee United’s Lawrence Shankland may be interesting Queens Park Rangers but insists he won’t be paying any attention to transfer talk.
The London club had their director of football Les Ferdinand in the stand at the Tannadice derby against Dundee on Friday to cast an eye on the Scotland striker.
Shankland didn’t score in the 1-1 draw but he has nothing to prove on that score, having already netted 21 times for club and once for country this season.
The United frontman hasn’t been fazed by speculation before and he isn’t about to let this latest batch bother him.
Shankland said: “I just keep concentrating on my game really.
“There is nothing I can do about that.
“Speculation always happens.
“It has happened before so it is not something I’m not used to.
“Coming into January, it is always the same, with rumours everywhere.
“But I will be fully focused on my work here.
“We have a lot of tough games coming up in January that we need to win and it will set us up in a good position if we can do that.
“It won’t be hard to stay focused, to be honest.
“I have signed for three years at the start of the season so if anything happens it is out of my hands.”
Like everyone else at United, on reflection the derby draw looks better to Shankland now than it did right after full-time on Friday.
Indeed, the Tangerines gained across the weekend when second-placed Inverness Caley Thistle lost at home to Arbroath on Saturday.
That left them 14 points clear at the top of the table so no wonder Shankland wasn’t too upset by the failure to make it three out of three victories against the Dark Blues.
He said: “The main objective this season is winning the league and getting promotion.
“We can’t put all our hopes into derby games.
“There are going to be times like last week when Dundee were decent and they gave us a hard time in that second half when we weren’t anywhere near our best.
“However, in a derby, if you can get a draw from it and not be at your best then you’ve got to be quite pleased that they’ve not made any ground on us. That is the main thing.
“We don’t concentrate on the table but you do know how far ahead you are, know what I mean?
“It would be daft to say we don’t.
“We know that if we keep picking up points and nobody is making up ground on us then we will be all right.
“Obviously, you can look at the Dundee game as two points dropped but I prefer to see it as one point gained.
“It was another game without a defeat so we have to be pleased with that.”
Shankland was asked about perhaps comparing Liverpool’s lead at the top of the English Premier League, which stands at 13 points, to the one United enjoy in the Scottish Championship.
With a smile, he replied: “It is a completely different league and they’ve probably got better players to be honest!
“I would say Liverpool are the best team in it, while I think our league is a lot closer in terms of the calibre of the teams in it.
“Everybody is around about the same and on their day can give every one else problems.
“It is definitely not a ‘done’ title yet but the more points we do pick up the closer we get.”
Shankland, meanwhile, admitted that his own form has not been htat great since he suffered a thigh injury while on Scotland duty back in November.
He has still managed a couple of goals since returning to the side – one apiece against Morton and Ayr – but he admitted: “You need to just try and keep your performances up.
“I had a wee injury and I’m just trying to get back from that.
“I have probably not hit the levels I was at beforehand but I just need to keep grafting away and the match sharpness will come.
“That is what I am looking to do and if I can get back scoring most weeks then I will be quite happy.”