The club are in need of more defensive options, especially within a back three system with Liam Smith continuing to operate as a right-sided centre-back. There is also still a requirement for a defensive midfielder with none of Liam Fox’s current options fitting the bill. Yet, incomings at Tannadice will largely depend on those who depart.
Tony Watt could be one such player to exit. The striker is a man in-demand having become a bit-part player, starting just one game since the return from the World Cup break. There is loan interest from Oostende in Belgium having previously played in the country’s top-flight for Standard Liege and Lierse but it is understood the player's preference to remain in Scotland where he is settled. There are three teams currently vying for his signature, including St Mirren who are the favourites with the two other clubs embroiled in a relegation battle with United.
The Tangerines could benefit from a large windfall which could amount to around £3million if former academy graduate Harry Souttar makes a big-money move on deadline day. Leicester City are understood to be lining up a £15million bid for the Stoke City star who attracted plenty of positive attention for his heroic performances at the heart of the Australia defence alongside Hearts star ace Key Rowles. United would be due around 20 per cent of the proceeds but they may have to bide their time for the transfer to go through.
There has also been interest in United’s 16-year-old star Rory MacLeod. The forward put pen to paper ahead of his 16th birthday on a deal which extended his stay at the club until 2024 but he has interest from Premier League duo Newcastle United and Southampton who have watched the player.
MacLeod came off the bench at the weekend in the loss to Celtic, the fourth time he has featured since Liam Fox became first-team manager, taking his tally to eight appearances. United are no stranger to interest in their young stars with Kerr Smith joining Aston Villa last season in a deal which could land the club as much as £2million.