BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Dundee United have won the race to sign the Lowland League’s hottest property after beating off competition to agree a deal with Spartans teenager Aaron Murrell.
Murrell, who has netted an incredible 24 goals in 22 competitive outings this season, is set to pen a two-and-a-half-year deal with the relegation-threatened Premiership strugglers today.
The highly-rated striker has been training part-time with Hibernian and had been tracked by the likes of Hearts and Rangers, amongst a host of other Premiership and Championship clubs, thanks to his prolific displays for Spartans.
However, a hat-trick in a bounce game during a recent trial spell with United convinced Tannadice manager Mixu Paatelainen to offer the 18-year-old a contract.
It is expected the youngster, who has dedicated himself to full-time to football since leaving school last summer, may be loaned back to Spartans initially.
But the fact that United have offered Murrell such a lengthy contract is an indication of the long-term hopes they have for the marksman.
Spartans chairman Craig Graham said: “We are very pleased for Aaron. He has worked exceptionally hard, especially in the last six months, and this is a great reward for him.
“Our coaches have also to take tremendous credit for the additional time and effort they have input with Aaron; they have done a great job to really accelerate his development.
“We are proud of the development environment we have at Spartans and Aaron is yet another player to move from us into the SPFL.
“Aaron’s success shows to all our young players what can be achieved if they really commit to being the best they can be.”