Dundee United have announced the immediate departure of defender Gavin Gunning. A very brief statement on the club’s official website announced the 25-year-olds departure.
The statement said that Gunning’s contract had been cancelled by mutual consent. It read: “Gavin Gunning has left Dundee United by mutual consent. This is a private matter and the Club will not make any further comment.”
Later in the day though, manager Mixu Paatelainen expanded on Gunning’s departure but as adamant that it had nothing to do with Gunning’s bizarre handball in mid-game against Inverness Caley Thistle at the weekend.
The handball incident that saw Gavin Gunning get the boot from Dundee United https://t.co/jf2kkL0fju pic.twitter.com/LecIT0Qq2q
— Evening Telegraph (@Evening_Tele) April 12, 2016
He said: “That had nothing to do with it. There haven’t been any fall-outs here. He was injured – he got a knock on his upper shin area – and he couldn’t carry on. He couldn’t kick the ball out. That’s why he picked the ball up and wanted the game stopped. It was quite a bizarre moment because nobody knew what happened there.
“He did indicate before that that he had a problem, but obviously the game was rolling. If he went down, Caley Thistle might have had a dangerous attack on our goal.”
Paatelainen added: “Gavin has left and won’t play for us this season. We keep the facts private, but unfortunately he has gone and we get on with it.”
Gunning, played for the Tannadice club between 2011 and 2014 before rejoining in November last year after leaving Oldham.
United are eight points adrift at the foot of the table following their defeat to Inverness Caley Thistle.