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Tam Courts: Dundee United will fend off January interest in prize assets

Tam Courts is focused on boosting his attacking options at Dundee United
Tam Courts is focused on boosting his attacking options at Dundee United

Tam Courts is confident Dundee United will hang onto their top stars this month.

The likes of Benjamin Siegrist and Jeando Fuchs have been linked with moves away from Tannadice in recent transfer windows, with clubs from England and beyond credited with interest.

However, Courts doesn’t foresee either player being sold in January – unless suitors are willing to pay a premium for their services.

“If any of the bigger name players do end up being sold, I am confident we have the back-ups in place to get through that,” he said.

Jeando Fuchs recently told a French football website of interest from Rangers, Celtic and clubs in England

“But I am confident in forecasting that nobody we don’t want to leave will go in January.

“We know our players will be of interest to other clubs, there is always an open dialogue with the players.

“The guys are committed to the club, they enjoy being here and are on board with what we’re trying to do.

They are not two players I expect to leave but I know they are likely to be of interest to other teams when the window opens.

“Clubs may want to pay a substantial fee for them, we will just have to wait and see.”

Benjamin Siegrist has a lengthy list of interested clubs

Courts also insisted United are intent on further bolstering their options in the final third during the January transfer window.

The Terrors have already agreed a pre-contract with Motherwell striker Tony Watt but it remains to be seen whether he will make the move to Tannadice next month or at the end of the season.

United have scored just 16 goals in 20 Premiership matches this season with only St Johnstone scoring fewer.

The United head coach said: “Recruitment in January will be similar to the summer.

“It will either be recruit to replace or bringing in support in key areas, like the top end of the pitch.

Motherwell striker Tony Watt scoring against St Johnstone earlier this season

“We have been having all the meetings to discuss the way forward and what we are looking for.

“I feel confident we will get the support we need.”

He added: “We are trying to do a number of different things, giving young players their chance but also having that clarity about who we want to bring in.

“We want someone at the top end of the pitch to excite the fans, really help the team and maybe add a different type of profile up there.

“We have goal scorers in the building, Nicky Clark and Marc McNulty are proven at this level.

“But I think another proven scorer, either for January or at the end of the season, I would certainly be open to that.”

Courts has always been keen to give United youngsters an opportunity but he has challenged their current crop of kids to stake their claim in the first team in the coming 12 months.

Dundee United kid Declan Glass holds off Glen Kamara of Rangers

The likes of Kerr Smith, Archie Meekison and Chris Mochrie have had a taste of Premiership action already this season but Courts is looking for more from the teenagers.

He said: “It’s going to be a big year for the young players in the squad.

“In a lot of ways, getting into it and making the breakthrough is the easiest bit – it’s staying there now that will challenge them.

“They have to be very targeted on whose position they’re after and every single day in training they have to provide competition.

‘Strut their stuff’

“Once they get their chances they have to react positively to that.

“Our fans love seeing young players emerge and it’s up to them to strut their stuff on the pitch when they get that opportunity.

“My priority when I first came into the job was to really connect with the senior players and I think we have done that.

“Probably the next part of the job now is to give a chance to more of the younger players because I feel the platform and foundation is there to do that now.”

LEE WILKIE: Tony Watt could be the Lawrence Shankland replacement Dundee United need to make 2022 magical

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