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Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 12:42 UK

Dundee United make double swoop

Andis Shala and Michael McGovern
Michael McGovern and Andis Shala agreed terms at Tannadice

Dundee United have signed German striker Andis Shala and former Celtic reserve goalkeeper Michael McGovern.

The 19-year-old Shala was previously with VFR Mannheim and has agreed a three-year contract with the Scottish Premier League club.

McGovern, who was in the Northern Ireland squad to face Bulgaria, has agreed a one-year contract.

The 23-year-old failed to make the breakthrough at Celtic and spent loan spells at St Johnstone and Stranraer.

But United have been looking for cover for number one Lucasz Zaluska, since Euan McLean joined St Johnstone.

And manager Craig Levein said of the former Under-21 international: "I want competition for Lukasz and Michael will provide that.

"He is very well thought of at Celtic. But, at a club that size, first-team opportunities for young players can be difficult to get.

"In the last two or three years, he has had Artur Boruc to compete against and, as we have seen at the Euros, Boruc is a top-class goalkeeper."

McGovern said Celtic had offered him a new contract, but revealed that the possibility of first-team football was too good to turn down.

"It was very hard to get first-team football with Artur Boruc and Michael Brown there," he said.

"I thought at this stage of my career it was best to come to Dundee Utd where I think I have a better chance of playing first-team football."

Shala began his career with Bundesliga outfit Hanover 96, but a lack of first-team opportunities led to his father, former Croatian international Kujtim Shala, buying out his contract.

He moved to Mannheim on a short-term contract in January, scoring twice in nine appearances, but had an agreement that he could move on if he had an offer from a bigger club.

Shala impressed during a trial period at Tannadice and Levein is hopeful that the same contact who unearthed defender Mihael Kovacevic last season will have found another who will develop into a first-team regular.

"It's a source that usually throws up players from Eastern Europe and, although Andis has a German passport, his family are from the former Yugoslavia," the manager told the club website.

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"I've seen him and Peter Houston went over to Germany to watch him and he is and excellent prospect.

"It's good to get another striker and that's me got Noel Hunt, Jon Daly, Kevin Smith and now Andis in the squad.

"There's a chance I'll add another before the summer is out."

Shala and McGovern follow midfielder Scott Robertson, signed from city rivals Dundee, to Tannadice as Levein rebuilds for the coming season.

Levein has also invited Scott Jamieson to Tayside after the Australian full-back was freed by Bolton Wanderers.

The 19-year-old will be assessed during pre-season training.




see also
Dundee hit out at Robertson move
03 Jun 08 |  Dundee Utd
Robb quits Tannadice for Buddies
27 May 08 |  St Mirren


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