Dundee United have told Dundee-bound Paul McMullan that he is no longer part of their first-team group.
Tangerines boss Micky Mellon had already decided that he would not be picking McMullan for the home match against St Johnstone, which was scheduled for Saturday before being postponed because of a frozen pitch.
As he prepared for the rescheduled fixture against Saints at Tannadice this evening, Mellon said it would be better for both player and club if the winger, who has agreed a pre-contract with the Dark Blues, moved across the road sooner rather than later after signing.
Mellon said: “Paul will move out of the group now.
“It is a difficult situation for him and the football club to be in.
“We make every decision by asking does it make Dundee United better?
“This is one (where) we don’t think it does.
“He will still be treated properly and get the training facilities he needs but he will move out the group so we can give youth the opportunity going forward.
“We have a number of boys behind Paul that we might be able to move up.
“They are at a stage where they are closer to the first team, while Logan Chalmers is also close to being on the training pitch after his injury.”
Asked if McMullan should, if possible, move during this transfer window, Mellon replied: “It would be best all-round if he could.”
Criticised for call-off
The Tangerines came under criticism for Saturday’s call-off, with the Perth club asking the SPFL to investigate the episode.
Mellon insisted he and his players were as fed-up as anybody else to be beaten by the weather.
He said: “It was a huge frustration because we were ready to play.
“It was minus-seven at stages during the night and there has got to be a bit of understanding there.
“The boys worked hard to get the game on.
“The issue was that it had turned icy in a certain area.
“We wanted to put the kick-off back but, understandably, St Johnstone had worries about Covid protocols and players being together in a space for a long time.
“It was getting more and more complicated. In the end, the referee made the right decision.”
Mellon will have the same squad available as he would have had on Saturday and that includes striker Marc McNulty, who had missed the goalless draw at Aberdeen through injury.
Calum Butcher will, as expected, sit this one out but should be available for the Hamilton clash at the weekend.
As for Jeando Fuchs, they have yet to get him to a specialist to check on what could be damaged knee ligaments.
Mellon said of the Cameroon midfielder: “He is back running in straight lines so we are just taking things by the day.
“As we get success, we will make it multi-directional and a bit quicker.
“At the moment he is running well in straight lines and it will be a daily thing.
“He is still pencilled in to see a specialist but if he continues to progress the way he is then there might not be any need.
“He has still to do the twisting and turning and that will be the real test.”
Meanwhile, Mellon has noted the situation at Celtic, where manager Neil Lennon and several players have gone into a period of self-isolation after defender Christopher Julien tested positive for Covid-19 following the Hoops’ controversial trip to Dubai.
The United gaffer knows what that feels like, of course, having experienced it last month.
He said: “I can only speak about things from a distance.
“It is hard work. You are watching games and there are 30 second delays on feeds – it is a nightmare.
“You are very, very detached from it.
“I made the decision that I couldn’t really affect it and pretty much stayed away from it to let the people who could affect things get on with it.
“That is the big thing I learned because you can’t really impact or influence things.
“It was new to me and I hope that I don’t have to go through it again.
“The most important thing is that everybody gets healthy again.
“The fit and well ones have to get on with the football while I hope the others get through things fit and well.
“You only have to look at the news to see what this pandemic is doing to the world.”