Dundee United hit with £196k compensation bill for striker

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DUNDEE United have been ordered to pay €230,000 (£196,000) in compensation for the signing of Argentine striker Damian Casalinuovo.

Casalinuovo, who joined United from Platense in July 2009, played 25 times for the Tannadice club.

Having spent a spell on loan at Raith Rovers from United, he subsequently joined Hamilton Accies and returned to Raith last year. United understood that no transfer fee was due for the player, but Platense sought compensation.

A Fifa tribunal had originally ordered United to pay €400,000 but that has subsequently been reduced to the current figure on appeal. United are also appealing to the Court of Arbitration in Sport against the revised figure.

“It’s been all the way through Fifa, we’ve now appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” United chairman Stephen Thompson told the BBC. “You’re talking about a couple of hundred thousand pounds. That’s hard, it’s a lot of money. It’s in the past and I’m not going to blame anybody for anything, because I don’t really know who was to blame at the time.”

Meanwhile, United manager Jackie McNamara believes summer recruits Paul Paton, 25, and Chris Erskine, 26, will fill the problem positions holding his side back. The former Partick Thistle manager has raided his old club to sign up the Fir Hill duo on pre-contract agreements.

And he claims the key strengths possessed by Paton and Erskine, 26, include some much-needed versatility, with right-back Paton also capable of operating in midfield, while Erskine has operated on both wings for Thistle this term, as well as a second striker.

McNamara said: “I’m delighted that they have signed on with us. They bring quality, versatility and they will improve the squad, which is the most important thing.

“They are different players obviously. Paul can play a few positions. We’ve had problems recently fitting guys into certain positions but Paul can do that.

“Chris has got something different that people like to watch. He can always create something and he’s scored some great goals this year and I think the United fans will take to him as well.”

McNamara was yesterday preparing his side for tonight’s SPL meeting with Motherwell at Fir Park but he admits he has turned his attention to keeping hold of as many of his current squad as possible.

Steve Banks, Rory Boulding, Barry Douglas, Willo Flood and Marcus Tornstrad will see their deals expire in the summer, as will skipper Jon Daly, who has been linked with a move to Rangers. Daly also has an offer on the table from his current employers and, with Paton and Erskine on board for next season, McNamara is keen to get others pegged down too.

He said: “We have already spoken to certain players about extending their contracts. We are now just in the process of seeing which ones are staying and which ones will go.”