DUNDEE UNITED have beaten city rivals Dundee to the signature of St Johnstone defender Tam Scobbie.
The 29-year-old has penned a two-year deal to become Ray McKinnon’s third summer signing and will be officially unveiled at Tannadice on Monday.
The move brings an end to five years at McDiarmid Park for the former Scotland under-21 cap, who made over 120 appearances for Saints and played in Europe but missed the club’s historic 2014 Scottish Cup success through injury.
Tommy Wright was keen to hang on to the versatile full-back but talks stalled in recent weeks and new Dundee boss Neil McCann showed an interest in making Scobbie his first signing.
But the ex-Falkirk youngster insists the influence of United manager Ray McKinnon and the challenge of getting the club out of the Championship convinced him to join the Tangerines.
He said: “I think mostly it was down to speaking to the manager and knowing I was coming to a big club, with big ambitions to get themselves back in the Premiership.
“They missed out at the very end of last season. Hopefully next season we can progress, kick on and get to where Dundee United should be.
“Ever since I’ve been involved in football, since the age of 16, Dundee United has been a very prestigious club, and even going back to when I wasn’t playing they’ve always had success.
“They had the massive disappointment of being relegated and it’s something that should be put right next season.”
Speaking to Arabzone, he added: “I’m sure the manager and the staff will leave no stone unturned and the players will do everything they can to make sure we’re prepared properly to go into this season, which is going to be massive.”
Scobbie joins Hibs striker James Keatings and Hearts winger Billy King in freshening up the United squad that missed out on promotion back to the top-flight in their play-off final clash with Hamilton Accies.
And McKinnon is eyeing up further targets as seeks to piece together a team capable of returning the club to the Premiership.
McKinnon told the club’s official website: “Thomas is an excellent defender who can play both left-back and central, and he will enhance our defensive options.
“As important, he is also a great organiser, a real leader with plenty of experience and these are vital characteristics for me.
“We need to add more players, and I expect to further add to the squad before pre-season begins.”