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 Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 14:57 GMT
Thompson talks get priority
Steven Thompson in action for Dundee United
Steven Thompson is now a Scotland regular
Dundee United are to resume talks in the next few days in an attempt to prevent Steven Thompson leaving the club for nothing in the summer.

The young Scotland striker is out of contract at the end of the season and recent speculation has seen him linked with a move to Rangers.

Tannadice chairman Eddie Thompson is angry that recently sacked manager Alex Smith and the previous board had not already moved to secure the 23-year-old on a new deal.

Thompson will have turned 24 by the summer and would be able to leave for another club without United being due any compensation.

He can begin talking to potential new clubs in January.

The chairman and player had initial discussions last month.

United had planned detailed contract talks with the player, but the search for a successor to Smith took precedence.

Now that Paul Hegarty has been installed as the manager at Tannadice, the club can again turn their attention to persuading Thompson his future lies in Tayside.

Thompson has been capped seven times for Scotland, scoring twice.

He has found the net on nine occasions for United this season.

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