Date: 25th January 2007 at 5:12am
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Alan Archibald has become the 2nd player to be told his Tannadice career is over, following David McCracken out the exit door in the summer.

The 29-year-old defender hasn’t been a 1st team regular for the past few months, floating in and out of Levein’s starting eleven.

His current contract expires in the summer, along with several other Dundee United players who are currently sweating over their futures at the club – Derek Stillie, Lee Mair, David McCracken and Collin Samuel.

Craig Levein has yet to decide on whether to offer several 1st team players an extension to their deals and is waiting to see how well they perform over the next few months.

“We’re in a position where we’ve a lot of players out of contract in the summer, but people have to impress before they are offered new deals,” said Levein.

“I am trying to change things around a little bit here and bring people in to improve the squad.”

Like McCracken, Archibald will still be available for selection while he remains at the club, but is unlikely to play any part in United’s next 3 or 4 matches after fracturing his cheekbone.

The defender, signed from Partick Thistle by Ian McCall in 2003 and since then has made over 140 appearances and scored 9 goals for Dundee United.

Speculation is linking the Glasgow born player with a move back to his former club Partick Thistle, but both Archi & McCracken still have the next few months to catch the eye of other managers by fighting their way back into the Dundee United 1st team.

“Archie and David have been here for a long time now so maybe it will benefit them to move on,” continued Levein.

“By doing it at this time of the season they’ve got a head start on a lot of other guys and come May there will be hundreds of players in the same position, at least this way they have time on their side. “

“It’s me giving both of them advance notice of what’ll be happening at the end of the season rather than springing something on them then,” Levein admitted to the Courier.

“They might be able to get a contract of 18 months or two and a half years now, whereas when clubs have so many people to choose from in the close season it is more difficult to get fixed up, which isn’t a good situation when you’ve a family to support.”

“I’m not throwing them out the door, if they don’t move on they can stay here and fight for their place until the end of the season.”

“That gives me options and also allows them to put themselves in the shop window so by making these tough decisions now I’m hopefully making it easier for them to find new clubs.”

“If Archie is with us until the end of the season then that’s how it’ll be, but if he doesn’t go now then he could play for us again and have the chance to showcase himself for other clubs ahead of the summer.”

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