BURNLEY have handed a trial to highly-rated Scottish youngster Mark Shankland amid competition from Celtic and Rangers.

The 16-year-old striker last season became the youngest player in Ayr United’s history and is scheduled to link up with the Clarets today before featuring in a behind closed doors match.

Shankland spent a week on trial at Liverpool a year ago and has continued to attract interest from a range of clubs, including both Old Firm sides.

Ayr are managed by former defender Brian Reid, who played for Burnley between 1998 and 1999.

The Scottish First Division side tied down Shankland on a two-year deal in the summer, with chairman Lachlan Cameron saying at the time: “Mark has a bright future and we believe moving to England or the Old Firm at this stage of his career would be the wrong move.

“We felt he’d progress more by staying at Ayr.”

The forward was only 15 years and 300 days old when he made his first-team debut at Brechin in May, although he has not featured for the senior side this season and was involved for Ayr in a Scottish Under 19s Cup tie at the weekend.

Ayr are only a part-time club and could find it hard to turn down a cash offer for the player should Shankland impress enough on trial to persuade Burnley to pursue their interest.

If he was to earn a move to England, the youngster would be expected to join the youth team set-up before aiming to progress to the first team in the future.