Dundee United accept Derby bid for Johnny Russell

Derby County are understood to have had a bid of about £750,000 accepted by Dundee United for striker Johnny Russell.

A bid of around £700,000 from the Championship club for the striker was rejected by United on Saturday. It is believed County have since made an improved offer, although a deal has not been completed yet as Russell has to decide whether he wants to move to County.

Tannadice manager Jackie McNamara said: “Derby are close to reaching our valuation and we have accepted it. It is now down to Johnny and his agent whether it happens or not and they can come to a deal.”

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United had earlier also turned down a bid of around £625,000 from Derby for 23-year-old Russell, who is out of contract at the end of next season.

Italian outfit Catania have also had a bid rejected for the product of United’s youth system, who scored 20 times in 2012-13. And United chairman Stephen Thompson claimed that another Championship outfit had enquired about the player but that no bid has yet been received from the club.

With United keen to cash in on the player before his contract runs out, Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United have also been unsuccessful in moves for Russell, in August and January respectively.

McNamara is hoping to plug the gap left by Russell by bringing former striker David Goodwillie back to the club. And former United defender Garry Kenneth believes the Blackburn striker would be even better second time around at Tannadice.

“It would be something else if ‘Goodie’ were to come back to Dundee United,” said Kenneth. “There was nobody more popular than him when he was there and that popularity could increase.

“David would just be so focused on getting back playing again that he would badly want to do so well. When he’s in that kind of mood you know he’s capable of anything on the park.

“United would be getting back a better player than they had two years ago. Even though it’s maybe not gone as well as he’d hoped in England, the whole experience will have made him stronger.

“He was obviously brilliant before leaving two years ago and it would take something extra special to top that.

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“But Goodie has a special affinity with the club and it makes you think a spell back at Tannadice would be the right thing for him now. Even if it were just for six months, knowing Goodie he would be right up for it from the word go to make as much of an impact as possible.”