United clarify Russell position

BY foxsports • April 23, 2013

Dave Kemp has urged fans to be patient as Stoke go in search of a victory that will all-but preserve their Premier League status for another year.

The Potters moved six points clear of the drop zone with a 2-0 win at QPR last weekend and can edge further to safety if they beat another relegation rival in Norwich on Saturday.

"It's important the fans don't get impatient," Kemp told The Sentinel.

"It would be great to be 5-0 up at half-time, but if not, don't panic because we are quite capable of winning the game late on.

"We got what we required on Saturday. The players showed fight and were prepared to stand up and be counted in a pressure game.

"Now we want another performance and another win this Saturday."

Stoke are just three shy of manager Tony Pulis's 40-point survival target but with four games to go, Kemp hopes for a higher yield.

"I don't like setting targets personally because if you get there you can take your foot off the gas," he added.

"And if you take care of your own business, you don't have to worry about anybody else."

According to reports on Tuesday morning, Italian side Catania made their third attempt to sign the player earlier this month.

The Tannadice club now say they have rejected a 450,000 Euro (?383,861) offer from the Serie A outfit but have reacted angrily by what they see as attempts by the player's representatives to force a move.

United claim the agent working on behalf of the player - who is out of contract next season - has now informed them that Russell wants to leave.

The club statement insists chairman Steven Thompson will not keep Russell on Tayside should he wish to further his career but stresses United will demand what they see as a fair value for the player before letting him go.

The statement read: "Dundee United Football Club would like to put the record straight regarding press reports today relating to Johnny Russell.

"Firstly, the same agent who wished the Club to sign a commission-based mandate for him to sell Johnny Russell (on) our behalf has now told us that the player will not sign a contract extension and that he wishes to leave Dundee United. Johnny Russell is under contract until May 31, 2014.

"With regard to the so-called 'third' offer, as this is now in the public domain we can confirm we received a second bid of E450,000 in instalments three weeks ago and this was rejected.

"Dundee United would like Johnny Russell to stay at the Club but it now appears from press reports that his agent is intent on forcing a transfer, at a fee which falls well below our valuation of the player.

"We have the utmost respect for Johnny Russell and will not stand in the way of him furthering his career. However we will not be told by agents how to run our football club. We have invested heavily in our youth set-up over the last few years and expect to receive a decent return on this investment when players are sold.

"If we are to continue to invest in our youth system and develop players to enable them to further their careers, we must ensure that this investment is sustainable."

Russell - United's 20-goal top scorer - is currently recovering from a broken leg he sustained in a Clydesdale Bank Premier League match with Inverness at the end of February.


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