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Kevin McDonald training with Dundee United after kidney transplant

Barnsley v Fulham – Sky Bet Championship – Oakwell
(Image credit: Richard Sellers)

Tam Courts has confirmed Kevin McDonald is training with Dundee United as he looks to return to action following a kidney transplant.

The 33-year-old, who has won five Scotland caps, sat out the 2020/21 season due to a serious illness and his brother Fraser donated a kidney so McDonald could have surgery last May

The former Fulham midfielder has been working with the Tannadice squad during the winter break and, asked if United were interested or if the former Dundee midfielder was working on his fitness, boss Courts said: “It is probably a little bit of both, actually.

“Kevin is up in the area, he is obviously from the area as a young guy.

“We are obviously looking at a couple of different options and Kevin was presented to us as an option to come in and train.

“So to get the opportunity to actually add a guy of his pedigree with the English Premier League, obviously with Fulham and also a Scotland international, it would be remiss of us not to take a look.

“He has really added to the training group with his personality and leadership and his quality is not in doubt so we are enjoying having him at this moment in time.”

Going out of the Tayside club is 17-year-old defender Kerr Smith, with Courts expecting him to complete a move to Aston Villa imminently.

He said: “To the best of my knowledge, Kerr travelled down to Aston Villa a couple of days ago to complete a medical and conclude all the paperwork.

“I have kept in touch with Kerr and from my understanding that is almost a done deal.”

Courts was more coy about the possibility of Tony Watt arriving at Tannadice in the current transfer window but spoke in glowing terms about the Motherwell striker who has signed a pre-contract agreement with the Tayside club.

He said: “When we were looking at what we needed in terms of bolstering our attack and initially thinking for the summer time, Tony is a guy who, if you actually look at his career quite closely, for as much as he has had a number of different clubs, he has been successful at these clubs in terms of his general play.

“He’s now at the stage of his life where he understands who he is as a  player, what he wants out of his profession and he appears to be in a very rich run of goal-scoring form.

“The key thing for me is he complements what we already have in the building and actually enhances what we want to do in terms of style of play.

“So in the summer time we are excited to have him but we also recognise that he is still someone else’s player just now and that’s the way it is going to be until I’m told differently.”

Meanwhile, new signing Carljohan Eriksson is aiming for the number one spot at Tannadice but knows it will not be easy ousting Benjamin Siegrist.

The 26-year-old Finland international goalkeeper joined as a free agent from Swedish side Mjallby on a contract until summer 2024.

Eriksson said: “Obviously that is my aspiration. I know Benji’s stature at the club and I have full respect for that but obviously in the long-term I like to see myself standing between the sticks and making a name for myself.

“I think that is the aspiration for every player and I am no different in that respect.

“Benji has done well and deserves all the credit that he gets for that and I would like to see myself up for that challenge and see where it takes me.”

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