McGowan returns to SPL with Dundee United

BY BEN SOMERFORD: World Cup Socceroo Ryan McGowan has joined Scottish club Dundee United on an 18-month contract.

United confirming McGowan’s signing, subject to international clearance, on the club’s website overnight, beating off reported interest from English League One club Coventry City.

McGowan, 25, returns to Scotland after spending the past two seasons in China with Shandong Luneng, having previously spent seven years at Hearts.

"It is great to be back in the Scottish Premiership and I'm excited about the challenge of being a United player,” McGowan told the club’s website.

“When I moved to Shandong Luneng Taishan, I believed I would return to Scottish football one day and for it to be here at Tannadice is fantastic.

“My time in China was a great experience but I look at what we can achieve here at Dundee United this season and I want to play a part in helping the club reach its goals.”

United, who are currently fourth in the SPL, were delighted to land McGowan.

“Ryan is a tough, strong and excellent footballer who will improve us defensively,” United boss Jackie McNamara said.

“He is a big lad who is strong in the air and this will impact in both defensive and attacking scenarios. He is a strong personality which is important for me.

“I am delighted to be able to bring him to United because other clubs were after him.

“Players see our club as a great place to show off their talent and enjoy playing football.

“This signing makes us stronger defensively and that was something I was keen to address in this transfer window.”

United are due to face Motherwell in the SPL on Saturday night.