Tam Courts has left his position as Dundee United manager “by mutual agreement”, the club has announced.
Courts has been linked with the vacancy at Croatian side Rijeka over the last week, and United say that he leaves Tannadice “after expressing a desire to explore other options”.
United say they have already begun the process of finding a replacement for the 40-year-old coach. Former St Mirren, Sunderland and Hibernian manager Jack Ross is understood to be under consideration for the role.
Courts who had previously managed Kelty Hearts before becoming head of tactical performance in United’s youth academy, was promoted to the top job at Tannadice after Micky Mellon left the club last summer.
He led the side to their highest league position in nine years, with the fourth-place finish delivering a return to European football.
“I’d like to place on record our gratitude towards Tam Courts for the service he has given Dundee United both as Head Coach and in his previous role as Head of Tactical Performance,” United sporting director Tony Asghar said.
“We made a brave appointment last year by promoting from within but it was a calculated risk that clearly paid off.
“We enjoyed a lot of success on the field last year and qualified for Europe. This is testament to the culture we have created throughout the club.
“Tam bought into our long-term strategy to develop some of the finest young talent in Scotland. The fruits of our labour are there for all to see with the recent international call-ups of Archie, Kieran and Ross.
“But through the course of discussions with Tam it became clear he was keen to pursue other options and we had to look after the best interests of the club.
“Following continued discussions, we have now agreed to mutually terminate his contract to allow him time to secure his next opportunity.
“He leaves with our best wishes, but I would like to assure Dundee United fans that the club is moving in a timely fashion to appoint a new head coach.
“We have identified a preferred candidate and we anticipate making a further announcement on this in the coming days.”
Courts said: “I’m immensely grateful to everyone at Dundee United for the opportunity they gave me to manage such a prestigious club.
“Tony Asghar took a chance on me and I had terrific backing from the owner Mark Ogren, the Exec Team and from my backroom staff such as Liam Fox and Adam Asghar.
“A special thank you must also go to the players who have been a joy to work with and a pleasure to lead. They give maximum effort to everything they do for the club and I hope they have continued success for next season and beyond.
“Without their support and the backing of the fans, we wouldn’t have achieved our fourth-placed finish and qualification for the Europa Conference League.
“It’s not an easy decision to move on from Dundee United but I believe my time with the club has helped me grow and develop immensely, both personally and professionally and I feel ready for my next challenge.”