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Dundee United sporting director Tony Ashgar believes the Scottish side’s academy partnership with Fulham could deliver tangible benefits this season.

Speaking to the Courier, Ashgar revealed that the clubs were in long-term negotiations before the announcement of the youth link-up in January.

“These partnerships can often be a bit of a fluff piece but this has been working for a long time before we announced it. One of the directors of Fulham has been up, their director of football has been up as has their academy director. We have been down there and shared a lot of common practices in how we are going to move forward.

From a football perspective we are looking at high performance. Can we get players from there who could come into our environment? Dundee United have an opportunity in Scotland that we can get players in that they can’t in England. There’s now a pathway for us to look at players they can’t get and we can. We can look at loans and various other aspects.”

Ashgar admitted that both clubs being American-owned has provided a natural synergy.

“With Fulham, I like the identity. It’s an American owned club who has another sports franchise. He has built a club that has just been promoted, as we were a few years ago. There are a lot of synergies. There are good people at Fulham. From Alistair Mackintosh the director of football or Huw Jennings. We are going to grow it. There were a few players we were going to bring in during the January window from there but things didn’t work out.”