Durnan, 22, has joined Jackie McNamara’s side after United paid £40,000 compensation to secure his services on a three-year deal from Championship outfit Queen of the South.
The former St Johnstone and Arbroath player was an integral part of the Doonhamers squad which lost out to Rangers in the play-offs so his performances at the heart of their defence attracted widespread attention from other Premiership clubs.
But Durnan admitted he was lured to Tannadice because of their track record of nurturing top young talent after the likes of Andy Robertson clinched a dream move to Hull City, and Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven sealed switches to Celtic. Durnan, who was wanted by both Ross County and Motherwell, explained: “I could have earned more money elsewhere but Dundee United is where I wanted to be.
“I really like the club’s ethos and their commitment to developing young players. That is very important to me.
“I have enjoyed my time at Queen of the South but now is the time to test myself at a higher level. There was interest from other Premiership clubs but I knew where I wanted to go once I knew Jackie was interested.
“I’m excited about meeting the rest of the lads and showing United fans what I can bring to the club once the season gets underway.”
McNamara is thrilled to have made the Glasgow-born defender his first summer signing. “I have been looking for a strong centre-half and Mark fits the bill,” he said. “He has the hunger and desire to succeed at Dundee United.
“He had greater financial offers but wanted to enhance his football development here. He sees the opportunities for young players at Tannadice. His style of play will appeal to our fans and he also pitches in with goals.”