Celtic boss Ronny Deila says keeping his best players will take priority over acquisitions in the transfer window.
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is understood to be set for a return to Atletico Madrid, according to Sky sources.
Motherwell last week opened negotiations with the Scotland squad goalkeeper and St Mirren boss Danny Lennon admitted he looked likely to move on.
But the 29-year-old's destination is unclear with Shiels setting his sights on a deal to bring in the former Ayr player, who began his career at Rugby Park but only made one first-team appearance.
Shiels told BBC Radio Scotland: "The agent has spoken to my chairman as far as I know.
"Craig Samson is a player we would really like to get here because he's a Kilmarnock boy, but besides that he's a really good goalkeeper."
Shiels has already secured Inverness keeper Antonio Reguero on a pre-contract agreement but has not finished his search for experienced shot-stoppers.
Kilmarnock are set to lose first-choice goalkeeper Cammy Bell, who is expected to join Rangers. His previous number two, Kyle Lethern, left the club last month while Anssi Jaakkola's contract expires in the summer.
Shiels added: "We need another goalkeeper, we need two vying for the one position. We have one at the moment and we've got a kid coming in from Ireland.
"Of course I'm interested (in Samson) and I'm also interested in other goalkeepers whose contracts are up."