Steven Lawless: Dundee United approach Partick Thistle winger

Steven Lawless (left) in action for Partick Thistle
Steven Lawless joined Partick Thistle from Motherwell

Dundee United have made an approach to sign Partick Thistle midfielder Steven Lawless at the end of the season.

The 24-year-old is out of contract in the summer and has yet to agree an extension with United's Scottish Premiership rivals.

"We have spoken to the player and we'll see what happens there," United manager Mixu Paatelainen told BBC Scotland.

Meanwhile, Paatelainen believes that defender John Souttar will remain with United until the end of the season.

Hearts have had one bid rejected for the 19-year-old and Paatelainen says Soutar will not be sold on the cheap despite being out of contract in the summer.

"He is our player and a very valuable player," said the Finn.

Dundee United defender John Souttar
John Souttar has been the subject of a rejected bid from Hearts

"At the moment, I do expect him to stay because we need our better players at the club.

"But you never know in football. One day, someone comes in with the offer that is difficult to turn aside and things happen."

United sit bottom of the Scottish top-flight, 11 points behind Kilmarnock and a further point behind Thistle, who host United on Saturday.

Lawless joined the Glasgow club from Motherwell in 2012 and has been a regular starter under manager Alan Archibald.

He was banned in May for two matches after being found guilty of breaching Scottish FA rules on gambling.