Paul Paton joins St Johnstone following Dundee United exit

St Johnstone have announced the signing of Dundee United's Paul Paton just hours after it was confirmed the midfielder had quit Tannadice.

Paul Paton helped Dundee United to two cup finals. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The Northern Ireland midfielder – who had skippered United in the final few weeks of the season – is moving to Perth on a free transfer after his contract with relegated United expired.

Paton will link up with Tommy Wright’s squad for pre-season training later this month after agreeing a two-year deal.

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Saints confirmed the signing on Twitter, posting: “Following his release from @dundeeunitedfc today, we’re delighted to confirm that @PaulPaton4 has signed a 2 year deal with us.”

The 29-year-old joined United from Partick Thistle in 2013 and went on to start 90 times and made five substitute appearances, playing in the 2014 Scottish Cup final and the 2015 League Cup final.

He was injured for much of last season as United were relegated from the top flight for the first time in 22 years.

A serious knee injury caused him to miss the first half of the campaign. He returned in January and captained the side but could not prevent United beating the drop.

Confirming his departure, Paton posted on Twitter: “Thank you for the last 3 years @dundeeunitedfc. Thank you to the fans that supported me I’ll never forget that.

“Good luck to the boys next year I hope they get the club and the fans back to where they should be.”

In a statement posted on United’s website, Paton added: “There will always be a tangerine spot in my heart and I wish Dundee United every success in returning to the Scottish Premiership next season.”

A spokesperson for Dundee United said: “We would like to thank Paul for his outstanding service to the club and wish him all the very best for his future.”