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Page last updated at 17:56 GMT, Monday, 25 May 2009 18:56 UK

Melville pledges Dens player fund

By Jim Spence

Partick Thistle's Gary Harkins
Partick Thistle's Gary Harkins is a Dundee signing target

Dundee director Calum Melville says there are funds available for new players at the club, with Partick Thistle's Gary Harkins a target.

But Melville has admitted that he is not about to buy Dens Park from soon-to-be Dundee United director John Bennett, who now owns Dundee's ground.

"I am no nearer to a deal for the ground, there is no movement there," Melville told BBC Scotland.

"But this will not derail our attempts to strengthen the team."

As disclosed by BBC Scotland on Sunday, Bennett has bought Dens Park from bankers HBOS for £500,000, inheriting the club's £7.5m debt in the process.

The millionaire, who has previously made unsuccessful attempts to buy Dundee and has already invested in the club, is poised to return to the United board.

And, although he also has an option to buy the controlling 60% stake in the First Division club, he has entered negotiations about selling to Melville.

It is well documented that we have made a bid for Gary Harkins at Partick Thistle and we are pursuing that vigorously

Dundee director Calum Melville

But potentially having a foot in both camps has led to intense debate and speculation among the fans of both clubs.

Melville sought to reassure Dundee fans worried about a club that has been eclipsed by their Scottish Premier League neighbour a few hundred yards down Tannadice Street.

He said that more players would be added for the coming season and said: "There are funds available.

"It is well documented that we have made a bid for Gary Harkins at Partick Thistle and we are pursuing that vigorously."

Harkins, a 23-year-old former Blackburn and Grimsby midfielder, has been targeted after impressing with Dundee's First Division rivals since summer 2007.

Dundee have already signed Richie Hart and Sean Higgins from Ross County, were beaten by promoted St Johnstone to the signatures of Dave MacKay and Murray Davidson from Livingston, and have had a bid rejected for Livi's Leigh Griffiths.

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see also
United fan buys Dundee's stadium
24 May 09 |  Dundee
Livi duo complete Saints switch
14 May 09 |  St Johnstone
Hart and Higgins sign up at Dens
14 May 09 |  Dundee
Quartet set for Dundee departure
05 May 09 |  Dundee
Livi reject Dens' Griffiths move
30 Apr 09 |  Livingston
Boost for Dundee transfer kitty
28 Apr 09 |  Dundee
Bennett shelves Dundee takeover
08 Oct 08 |  Dundee

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