Ayr United hotshot Lawrence Shankland a contract, according to a report in Scotland.

The Black Cats have been linked to Shankland for some years.

The prolific 23-year-old scored 34 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions last season and that kid has caught the eye both in Scotland and south of the border.

Aside from Sunderland, Rangers, Celtic, Hearts, Portsmouth, Nottingham Forest, Swansea City, and Hull City, have all been credited with an interest in Shankland.

The Scottish Sun reports that Sunderland have stolen a march on their rivals by putting a contract on the table, while Hearts have thus been in contact with the player's camp.

However, Sunderland may have to wait for an answer as he considers his options.

Glasgow-born Shankland started his career at Queen's Park before moving to Aberdeen in 2013. While at Pittodrie, he shares loan spells with Dunfermline Athletic, St Mirren, and Greenock Morton.

He left Aberdeen and joined Ayr in 2017.

He was nominated for the Scottish Championship Player of the Year award last season, and so what's included in the divisional team of the year.