Tannadice chiefs rebuff two bids for Armstrong
DUNDEE UNITED last night demonstrated their determination to hold on to Stuart Armstrong after they dismissed rival bids from Celtic and Burnley.
However Jackie McNamara’s side will be bracing themselves for another assault on the impressive midfielder before Monday’s deadline with the SPFL Premiership champions likely to return with an improved offer.
Premier League strugglers Burnley signalled they will not be increasing their initial bid – believed to be around £1.3million – for the 22-year-old with manager Sean Dyche last night labelling Armstrong as a “development player”. Celtic’s bid was understood to have been slightly higher than the Clarets’ with an offer of £1.5million mooted.
Neither came close to matching the valuation Tannadice chiefs, who have already seen Gary Mackay – Steven sign a pre-contract agreement with Celtic have in mind for the Scotland Under 21 international who has been with the club for six years. “Neither of these bids is anywhere close to our valuation,” confirmed a United spokesperson last night. “Neither bid is nearly close enough to consider.”
McNamara could have done without the disruption ahead of his side’s visit to Hampden Park tomorrow to face Aberdeen for the first of this weekend’s League Cup semi-finals. Armstrong has scored six goals from midfield for the Tangerines who sit in fourth place in the Premiership table.
Dyche seemed to aim a slight jibe at the player after Burnley’s bid was rejected by insisting Armstrong would have had to bide his time before seeing first-team action at Turf Moor.
“He is a good, young player that we think could learn and develop with us. But it won’t happen now by the looks of things,” said Dyche. “He [Armstrong] was more of a development player in our world. We weren’t thinking of him as someone who would go straight in to the first team.
“We’ve got to be active on players that we think can affect us now. But we’ve also got to make sure that we make plans for the future.
“We’ve had offers in for what you’d call more recognised players that haven’t got over the line at the moment.”