Tan­nadice chiefs re­buff two bids for Arm­strong

The Herald - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - JOE CAL­LAGHAN

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.”

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