Dundee United accept Sunderland’s Souttar bid - now defender faces big decision

Sunderland target John Souttar (right) challenges Celtic's ex-Black Cats striker Anthony Stokes

Sunderland target John Souttar (right) challenges Celtic's ex-Black Cats striker Anthony Stokes

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DUNDEE United boss Jackie McNamara has confirmed that the Scottish club have accepted Sunderland’s bid for hot prospect John Souttar.

The Echo reported earlier this week that Souttar was mulling over Sunderland’s offer of personal terms after the Tannadice club accepted an improved bid from the Black Cats of around £600,000, with a hefty sell-on clause.

Souttar was at the Stadium of Light for last weekend’s defeat to Liverpool and has toured the facilities at the Academy of Light, although he still has the option to reject Sunderland’s advances.

The centre-half has been scouted by several of the Premier League’s heavyweights since breaking into Dundee United’s first-team in January, but Sunderland are in pole position after becoming the first club to make a concrete offer.

McNamara admits Souttar is contemplating his options, although he has urged him to remain north of the border after making 14 first-team appearances already, despite just turning 17.

“The latest is that he is still a Dundee United player,” said McNamara.

“The club accepted another bid from Sunderland and he went down to see the facilities.

“I think it is important now that we have that dialogue with John. If that is what he chooses to do (join Sunderland) then we will never stand in anybody’s way.

“But if you are asking my opinion then I think he would be best to stay here for the next couple of years and get a few games under his belt.

“It will be his decision. He has just turned 17, it is all about his development. He is part of our first team squad at such a young age and it would be good for him to play 100 or 200 games first and get that experience.”

McNamara added that Souttar is likely to play against Kilmarnock on Saturday, despite the uncertainty over his future.

“If anything I think it will give him extra confidence,” he added.

“He’s quite a level-headed young lad and he has a good family behind him. He won’t be fazed by anything.”

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