Dundee United deny Jets takeover but keen on 'promising young players'

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Scottish club Dundee United have dismissed media reports linking them to the takeover of struggling A-League outfit, Newcastle Jets.

However, the club confirmed an interest in the Australian league's progress and the promising pool of local talent.

Representatives from Dundee United, including chairman Stephen Thompson, have spent three weeks in Australia as part of a ‘wide-ranging fact finding mission,’ the club said

As part of the tour, Thompson and his delegation met with Jets officials last week and attended the club’s 3-1 loss to Wellington Phoenix at Hunter Stadium.

An official statement on United's website said: “We have been made aware of reports circulating in Australia regarding a potential purchase of Newcastle Jets."

Adding: “This board’s view is that football is a global market place and as part of our aim to develop Dundee United Football Club we are continually seeking opportunities to improve on and off field.

"Mr Thompson’s visit to Australia provided a worthwhile insight into a league that is progressing rapidly, whose clubs are part of a growing market in world football and is home to a number of very promising young players.

“At all times the Board will act in the best interests of this club and Australia is simply one of a number of countries that Dundee United is monitoring.

"Our philosophy remains focused on the identification and professional development of the best young footballing talent available.”

It is understood Thompson has shown interest in young Australian players spending time with the Tangerines.

The Jets’ financially embattled owner Nathan Tinkler has been offloading his sporting empire which includes racing interests and rugby league club the Newcastle Knights.

In August Tinkler said several European clubs, including some from the English Premier League, were in talks to buy his A-League licence.

Senior management from the club and representatives of the Tinkler Group flew to London to negotiate with potential investors earlier in the year.

Speaking to Sydney's Sky Sports Radio at the time, Tinkler said: "German, Spanish and English clubs are best placed to groom young talent in Australia.

"If we can do a deal with one of those countries, it will put the Jets in a better spot and it will be a win for the community and everyone involved.

"We've been in talks with a number of Premier League and European clubs, they've been going on for a little while."

In January City Football Group – owners of Manchester City – became the majority holders of A-League club Melbourne City.

Tinkler has described City’s purchase as the “future” for the A-League.

Meanwhile, the winless Jets have suffered a horror start to the new season and are sitting in ninth place on the ladder with just four points from nine games.