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Souttar nearing Sunderland move

Dundee United boss Jackie McNamara is hopeful teenage defender John Souttar will spurn the opportunity to join Sunderland in order to continue his career at Tannadice.

John Souttar is expected to join Southampton this season.
Souttar is expected to join Southampton this season.

The Black Cats have seen an improved bid of around £600,000 accepted by the Scottish club for Souttar, with a significant sell-on clause also included in the deal.

Present at the Stadium of Light on Sunday for the club's 3-1 defeat against Liverpool, the 17-year-old is understood to be discussing personal terms with the Black Cats.

With Souttar likely to play against Kilmarnock at the weekend, former Celtic star McNamara believes that his young defender would be better served remaining at Tannadice as he looks to continue his impressive development.

"The latest is that he is still a Dundee United player," McNamara told STV. "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.

"If anything I think it will give him extra confidence [playing against Kilmarnock]. 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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