Celtic bid for Stuart Armstrong rejected by United

Dundee United's management team are keen to hold on to their star player. Picture: TSPL
Dundee United's management team are keen to hold on to their star player. Picture: TSPL
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DUNDEE UNITED have rejected bids from Celtic and Burnley for Stuart Armstrong, describing both offers as nowhere near their valuation.

Armstrong, 22, is one of the most promising young players at Tannadice and Celtic are understood to have offered around £1.5 million for the midfielder, with Burnley’s bid believed to be slightly lower.

United’s valuation of the player is closer to £2.5m and a United spokesman told BBC Scotland: “Neither of these bids is anywhere close to our valuation. Neither bid is nearly close enough to consider.”

Despite his relative youth, this is Armstrong’s fifth season in the United first team. He was the Scottish Football Writers’ young player of the year in 2012/13 and has won 20 Scotland Under-21 caps. He was called up to the senior squad for the first time by Gordon Strachan for the World Cup qualifier against Croatia in June 2013.

Celtic have already agreed a deal with another United player, Gary Mackay-Steven, who will move to Parkhead in the summer after a pre-contract agreement was signed earlier this month, but the Glasgow side will have to up their bid if they want Armstrong as well.

Burnley are also admirers of Armstrong but manager Sean Dyche does not now expect to pursue a deal for the player having had his initial offer turned down.

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Dyche is still hoping to add to his squad and has several irons in the fire. He said: “Different offers have been in for players. One’s been rejected today. He was more of a development style player in our world – a good young player we think who could learn with us. That won’t happen now, by the looks of things.

“We’ve had offers in for more recognised players that haven’t got over the line at the moment, but we’ll see where that takes us.”

Dyche’s squad already contains three full Scotland internationals (George Boyd, Matt Gilks and Ross Wallace) while a fourth, midfielder Scott 
Arfield, is understood to have been watched regularly by Strachan’s assistant Mark McGhee in recent months.

United will perhaps balk at Dyche’s description of Armstrong as a “development player” given he has made well over 
100 league appearances for the Tannadice club and is expected to be a key player in tomorrow afternoon’s League Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden Park.