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Blow for Dundee United as Aalborg want £1m for Pavol Safranko with Rangers and Aberdeen also interested

Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson
Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson

Dundee United are set to be priced out of any attempt to sign Pavol Safranko from Danish Superliga outfit Aalborg BK.

Safranko’s otherwise successful loan spell with the Tangerines ended in disappointment on Sunday as he was one of four players to miss as United lost their promotion play-off final against St Mirren after a penalty shootout.

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Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson

Having seen the Slovakia international grab 15 goals this season, however, boss Robbie Neilson has long said he would like the 24-year-old’s stay to become permanent.

The striker’s form hasn’t gone unnoticed elsewhere and both Aberdeen and Rangers have been credited with an interest.

A number of clubs down south and on the continent have also been made aware of his form with United.

It’s believed the Dons would even have taken him in the January transfer window but, having played competitive games for both Aalborg and United already this term, he was not eligible to make a switch then.

Now he is, but word from Scandinavia is that, with a year of his contract still to run, Aalborg are seeking in the region of £1 million for his services.

Even with the backing of new American owner Mark Ogren and his millions, that’s not a price United would be prepared to meet and it would also be too rich for Aberdeen.

It could also see Rangers, if they do remain interested, look elsewhere in order to get better value for money.

Meanwhile, United will face former boss Craig Levein’s Hearts in the group stages of the Betfred Cup in July. It will also be a first clash against the club he played for and managed for Tannadice gaffer Robbie Neilson.

Completing a hat-trick of reunions will be former Arabs favourite Jon Daly, one of the heroes of their 2010 Scottish Cup win.

July’s group stages will also see United face East Fife, Stenhousemuir and Cowdenbeath, also managed by an ex-Tangerines favourite in the shape of Gary Bollan.

Although the draw for these opening clashes was made yesterday, it is likely to be a few more days before the dates and venues for the fixtures are confirmed but the ties take place between July 13 and 28.

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