Robbie Neilson has left Dundee United to take charge at former club Hearts.
The Tangerines gaffer’s shock departure was tonight confirmed by the Tannadice club.
In a statement posted online through the club’s social media channels, United said: “Dundee United Football Club tonight announce that head coach Robbie Neilson will leave the club to join Heart of Midlothian FC.
“Earlier today, the club rejected an approach by Hearts to speak to Robbie; however, at his insistence, the approach was subsequently accepted with compensation agreed between the club and Hearts. Robbie has agreed terms with Hearts and will leave the club with immediate effect.”
United sporting director Tony Asghar said: “I can confirm that I was called today by Ann Budge seeking permission to speak with Robbie Neilson to become Hearts’ new head coach.
“This was turned down, however, after lengthy discussions with Robbie he made it clear he wished to speak with them. As a result of this, the contractual termination clause has been met and Robbie will leave the club.
“As head coach, he led the team to a play-off final before achieving promotion with a Championship title this season and I would like to thank him for his contribution.
“Gordon Forest and Lee McCulloch will continue leading our pre-season preparations ahead of the Scottish Premiership restart and we will look to appoint a new Head Coach as soon as possible.”
United Chairman Mark Ogren said: “Although we are understandably disappointed, we at Dundee United Football Club are bigger than one person and we will continue to work towards our long-term plan with our staff and players and, of course, our loyal supporters.
“Robbie played a huge role in our journey so far, however, we now look towards the future, with a new leader and renewed hope for our fans.”
More to follow…