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McCLAREN, MacKAY IN UNITED TALKS

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FORMER England boss Steve McClaren and SFA performance director Malky MacKay have held talks with Dundee United over the vacant manager’s post.

The Tannadice side, who will take their place in the Premiership after last season’s promotion, have stepped up their efforts to replace Robbie Nielson who quit after18 months in the job to return to Hearts.

McClaren, who left Queens Park Rangers last year, spoke with the Tayside club’s Sporting Director Tony Asghar at the weekend with the 59-year-old keen to get back into the game, according to a report on Sky Sports News.

Although Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant at Manchester United has never worked in Scotland, he has a wealth of experience, winning the Dutch League with FC Twente and the League Cup with Middlesbrough.

McClaren has also had spells at Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest, Derby and Newcastle and is currently working for FIFA.

Forty-eight-year-old ex-Celtic centre-half Mackay, who has also managed Cardiff City and Wigan, was given by his Hampden employers to talk to United.

He was appointed to his SFA post in December 2016, but also served as caretaker manager for Scotland’s 1-0 friendly defeat to Holland in November the following year following the departure of Gordon Strachan.

MacKay has not held a manager’s position since being sacked by Wigan in April 2015.

He started his coaching career at Watford, replacing Brendan Rodgers in 2009, before guiding Cardiff to the League Cup Final in 2012 – where they lost to Liverpool on penalties – and then Premier League promotion as Championship winners the following season.

United aim to have a new manager in place before the Premiership kick-off on August 1.

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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