Caley Jags offer for United goal hero Murray

Dundee United's Simon Murray

Caley Thistle have offered Dundee United attacker Simon Murray a pre-contract deal and could sign the 24-year-old during the January transfer window.

Murray’s Tannadice contract is up at the end of the season and the former Arbroath attacker is free to negotiate with clubs. His representatives have already spoken to the Highlanders.

Should Murray move up the A9 Murray would be joining former United forward Henri Anier, who joined the relegation-threatened Premiership side just last week.

Murray has also caught the eye of Moldovan club Sheriff Tiraspol and they have already had a £40,000 bid for the player turned down by the Tangerines, who paid the Lichties £50,000 for him two years ago.

Caley Thistle could complete the signing now if they are prepared to pay a fee acceptable to United rather than go down the pre-contract route.

United manager Ray McKinnon must decide whether he can afford to let the forward, who has scored 11 times this season for the Championship title-contenders, leave now and get a fee that will increase his chances of making signings before the window shuts or keep Murray for the rest of the season and risk losing him for nothing.

Dundee-born Murray began his career with Montrose, playing one game for the Gable Endies, before moving into non-league football with Downfield, Tayport and Dundee Violet.

He joined Arbroath in 2014 and scored 14 goals in 21 league starts before moving to the Tannadice club the following year.

Murray made his debut for Dundee United against Aberdeen in August 2015. He scored his first goal six days later, in his first away game for United, with the second goal in a 2-0 win at Motherwell. Murray scored a hat-trick for United in their first home game of the 2016-17 season in a 6-1 win against Cowdenbeath in the group stages of the Betfred Cup.