Dundee United have been given a boost in their pursuit of centre-back Callum Morris.
The former Tangerines defender had made clear his desire to head back to England after almost six years in Scotland.
However, the Tele understands his options of a move down south have been limited and the Tannadice club feel they have a good chance of enticing the man they saw as the best centre-half in the Championship last season.
Csaba Laszlo’s squad is short in the centre-back department after a summer clear-out with William Edjenguele, Tam Scobbie, Lewis Toshney and Stewart Murdoch their only current options.
Of them, Murdoch has been the only one regularly trusted by Csaba despite the centre of defence being a new position for the former midfielder.
That’s seen United chase the signings of former Partick man Frederic Frans, Morris and ex-Dundee defender Julen Etxabeguren.
Of those three, Morris looks the best bet, with Thistle favourites to land Frans and Etxabeguren likely to return to Spain.
Twenty-eight-year-old Morris’ previous spell at Tannadice was hugely disrupted by injury with Achilles, knee and hamstring issues keeping playing time down, though he did score the winner in the 2015 League Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen and featured in the final against Celtic.
After a gameless spell at Aberdeen, Morris joined Dunfermline and enjoyed a fine season last campaign, playing 40 times.
And with those injury problems behind him, the Tangerines see him as an ideal addition to their defence for next season.
Meanwhile, a new Junior Academy Programme has been launched by the Dundee United Community Trust to replace the J League.
The aim is to work more closely with the Tannadice youth academy as well as forging links with local grassroots clubs.
DUCT’s Jamie Kirk said: “The J League has been running for almost two decades and, while this once-renowned programme has helped thousands of kids develop a love for football over the years, it’s time for a change.
“The new Junior Academy has an exciting curriculum that the kids will really enjoy – it is all about developing a love of the game, making new friends and improving football skills.”