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Defender Gavin Gunning returns for second spell at Dundee United

Mixu Paatelainen makes his first signing as manager of the Tannadice club.

Second spell: Gavin Gunning first played for Dundee United between 2011-2014.
Second spell: Gavin Gunning first played for Dundee United between 2011-2014. SNSGroup

Mixu Paatelainen has made his first signing as Dundee United manager, subject to international clearance, with Gavin Gunning returning for his second spell at Tannadice. 

The central defender enjoyed three seasons at the club from 2011-2014 and was named in the SPL Team of the Year in his first campaign. 

Gunning, who was a free agent after leaving English League One side Oldham Athletic in August, has joined until the end of the season. 

 The player spent almost two weeks training with the club before putting pen to paper and will be available for selection on Saturday when St Johnstone visit Tannadice for the Tayside derby. 

Gunning told the club's official website: "I'm happy to be back at United. I enjoyed my time here previously. I am fit and determined to show I am still a good footballer. 

 "I like the fact the head coach is a straight talker and doesn’t take any nonsense. He is what the club needs at the moment and I can play my part also. I feel as if I am ready to play straight away but it will be up to the gaffer whether I am selected or not." 

Paatelainen added: "Gavin is a very powerful player. He is a solid defender who shows great aggression. He is good in the air and also on the ball. He will strengthen us footballing wise but he is also a great addition to our changing room. He is not a quiet boy, that’s for sure and when he is around there is always plenty of laughter. 

"He is well over his injury concerns now. He has been training with us for over a week and has shown up very well. He is fully fit and raring to go, maybe lacking little match fitness but once he gets that he will be an important part of our squad." 

The 24-year-old played 99 times for Dundee United in his first spell at the club and scored 10 goals over the three seasons.

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