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Jack Ross has expressed his delight after key midfielder Ian Harkes agreed to sign up for another year at Dundee United.

The 27-year-old moved to Tannadice in January 2019 but his future was in doubt as his previous contract expired this summer.

However, United’s 2021-22 player of the year has now signed a new deal committing himself to the Tayside club for the upcoming season.

“I’m delighted that Ian has chosen to come back,” Ross told United’s website. “It’s a deal the club has worked hard on to get it over the line.

“I’ve seen his qualities from coming up against him and it’s a pleasure to now have the opportunity to work with him.

“I spoke to him a lot on the phone when I first got the job and met him a few days ago to give him a better understanding of how I work and what I am looking to achieve here.

“He had other options but hopefully that gave him greater clarity in the decision-making process.

“The fans will be delighted. They have seen first hand what he is capable of and I’m convinced he will get better and better.

“He has bought into our vision and want to get better as individuals and collectively as a team. I firmly believe we can grow together.”

Harkes has scored nine goals in 131 appearances for Dundee United.

Sporting director Tony Asghar said: “We’re delighted to secure Ian’s services for another year. He has been an integral part of our club since his arrival in 2019 and played a pivotal role in our fourth-placed finish last season.

“His guile, craft and crucial match-deciding goals against the likes of Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee and Partick Thistle played a huge impact on our success on the park.

“Away from the pitch, Ian is a fantastic ambassador for Dundee United and we’re excited to see what comes next.”