Dundee United are set to offer Nicky Clark a new deal as Dundee eye a move for their rivals’ top scorer.
It is understood United are keen to tie key man Clark down to an extended contract with his current agreement at Tannadice set to run out in the summer.
Rivals Dundee had already signalled their intention to launch a sensational bid to swoop in and nab the 29-year-old hitman in a pre-contract move.
However, Tele Sport understands the Tangerines hope to reach a new agreement with Clark, who has scored 10 goals this season.
The former Rangers and Dunfermline man is free to speak to other clubs after entering into the final six months of his deal.
Dark Blues boss James McPake is hoping to enter into talks to bring Clark over the road to Dens Park, following fellow-Terror Paul McMullan, who signed a pre-contract deal with the Dee earlier in the week.
However, United gaffer Micky Mellon also sees Clark as a key piece of the puzzle at Tannadice and is set to table an offer to the striker as well.
It could result in a tug of war between the two clubs as Championship Dundee look to add the attacker to their ranks.
Clark scored seven times as United won the second tier last season, and with it promotion to the Premiership. He also notched twice in derbies, one a key penalty in a win at Dens Park and the opening goal of the 1-1 draw in December 2019.
Paul McMullan’s move from Dundee United to Dundee
Dark Blues boss James McPake has wasted no time in strengthening his squad this month, securing McMullan’s signature.
With the winger being removed from United’s first-team training, it looks increasingly likely that deal will be accelerated to make the 24-year-old a Dundee player this month.
Amid wage cuts at Tannadice as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic hit club finances, United boss Mellon admitted last week it was unlikely the club would be extending player contracts.
Speaking after McMullan had put pen to paper on a deal at Dens, Mellon said: “I don’t think the club is in a position yet that it is wanting or able to give players contracts, or give Paul McMullan a contract.
“It might change with other players, that remains to be seen.”
Whether that includes Clark, fans on both sides of the street will be keen to find out.
Past allegiances ‘irrelevant’
Meanwhile, McPake has made it clear a player’s past allegiances to rivals Dundee United are “irrelevant” as he looks to add quality to his squad.
As well as the capture of McMullan, the Dens men snapped up striker Osman Sow after he had left United.
The Swede has gone on to impress in dark blue this season, scoring seven times and topping the club’s scoring charts.
The club also had former United midfielder Sam Stanton on trial in December.