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Steve McClaren gives his reasons for turning Dundee United down as Malky Mackay comes back into the race

Malky Mackay.
Malky Mackay.

Steve McClaren turned down the chance to be the next Dundee United manager for family reasons, Courier Sport understands, with Malky Mackay resuming his position as favourite to take over at Tannadice.

Former England boss McClaren held talks with United sporting director Tony Asghar earlier this week and the challenge of re-establishing the Tangerines in the Premiership was an enticing one.

Money – in the transfer market or his own wages – wasn’t an issue either.

But, after taking a couple of days to consider his first job in Scotland, the 59-year-old decided he didn’t want to make the move north at this stage of his career.

He issued a statement through Sky Sports, which read: “Tony Asghar and I had a great meeting regarding the manager’s job at Dundee United.

“I am very impressed with the club’s structure, philosophy and ambition and I’m sure they will be very successful.

“I have a great desire to be managing and coaching again and it is disappointing that this chance comes at the wrong time for me.

“I wish Tony and the board the best of luck in bringing the club and its fans the success they deserve.”

McClaren had emerged as the clear frontrunner to replace Robbie Neilson and was short odds to be appointed with the bookmakers.

Before he had entered the fray, that spot was held by Mackay, the SFA’s performance director.

It is believed the ex-Cardiff City boss is still keen to return to club football, still keen on United and hasn’t been put off by the fact that the Tangerines were keeping their options open after his weekend interview.

Scottish football’s governing body would not stand in his way.

Tranmere’s Micky Mellon remains a strong contender, with ex-United midfielder Billy McKinlay a possible dark horse should Asghar decide to widen the field in the wake of McClaren dropping out of the running.

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