The Scotland international forward is wanted by the Edinburgh club with his future at Belgian side Beerschot uncertain following relegation. Shankland previously worked with Hearts manager Robbie Neilson at Dundee United, earning his first international call-up in October 2019.
Any deal would hinge on negotiations with Beerschot, who want a minimum £500,000 to sell Shankland at this stage. He signed a three-year contract there last August without a relegation release clause but hasn’t had the success he hoped for.
The 26-year-old has scored five goals in 28 appearances so far this season and found himself played out of position in a wide role at times. As Beerschot prepare to reshape their squad for Belgium’s First Division B next year, it remains to be seen if they will do a deal to offload Shankland.
Hearts would not intend to pay a £500,000 fee and may attempt to negotiate that amount down should they decide to take their interest further. With striker Ellis Simms due to return to Everton when his loan expires next month, an attacking void will emerge ahead of next season.
Hearts are looking at several targets as they prepare for domestic and European assignments over the months ahead. The Scottish Premiership starts at the end of July and they face a Europa League play-off tie in August. Victory will take Neilson’s side into the competition’s group stage, while defeat would parachute them into the Europa Conference League groups.
Riccarton officials have held talks with the Livingston winger Alan Forrest, who is out of contract next month and keen to join a bigger club.