Dundee United seek Hibs & Hearts double as they chase Billy King to add to capture of James Keatings



DUNDEE UNITED have snapped up Hibs striker James Keatings on a pre-contract agreement – and are poised to make it an Edinburgh double as they chase the signature of Hearts winger Billy King.

United, who face Morton in their play-off quarter-final first leg on Tuesday night, will be hoping Keatings proves a lucky charm after the former Celtic trainee was promoted to the Premiership with Hamilton Accies, Hearts and Hibs – before leaving on each occasion.

The 25-year-old spoke recently of being keen to agree a new deal at Easter Road but admitted he was desperate to play more football than the 17 starts he enjoyed this term in his 30 appearances.

(Twitter @jameskeatings)

His stunning injury-time strike in March’s 2-1 win over Falkirk was a pivotal moment in Hibs’ successful title challenge and Tangerines manager Ray McKinnon will be hopeful the Scottish Cup winner brings his promotion experience with him.

Keatings said in a social media message: “A massive thank you to Hibs for an unforgettable two years.

“Thanks to the fans for your support during these two years also.

“I’m leaving Easter Road a champion, with the club going back to where it belongs and memories that will live with me to the day I die.”

He told the Tannadice club’s website: “I look forward to joining Dundee United.

“I have enjoyed playing at Tannadice, and I know I am joining a fantastic club with a great reputation who are set up to be in the Premiership.

“My goal is to be scoring in the Premiership for United, whether it is next season or beyond.”

King has been told he can leave Hearts this summer, despite having another six months left on his contract.

The 22-year-old has spent this term on loan at Inverness Caley Thistle and had expressed a desire to prove himself at Tynecastle next pre-season.

However, after being informed he does not have a future in Gorgie, he is another McKinnon has targeted for a promotion push next term if their play-off campaign is not successful.

King is currently involved in a desperate battle to try to keep Inverness in the top-flight but it is expected his next career move will be decided once the Highlanders’ future is confirmed.