The Dens Park benefactor angered his Tannadice neighbours after publicly ­stating he was planning to bid £500,000 for the Scotland ­internationalist in the January transfer window.

Craig Levein, the United manager, criticised the Aberdeen-based millionaire by suggesting he needs tutored in the workings of football, while the Dundee manager, Jocky Scott, attempted to defuse the situation by denying a bid would be placed and putting Melville’s comments down to inexperience.

Dundee have claimed Melville conversation with a Dundee-based journalist was not for public consumption, but it is understood Melville was the one who ­initiated contact on Sunday.

Publicly courting another club’s player is illegal under transfer laws so eyebrows have been raised at Hampden. Melville is now likely to be asked to attend a meeting to explain himself.

One manager Dundee could be doing business with come the new year is Hamilton’s Billy Reid, who has confessed he wants to turn Mickael Antoine-Curier’s loan agreement into a permanent deal.

The former Hibernian ­striker has proved a huge success since arriving from Dundee until the January transfer window and scored his third goal in six games in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Celtic.

He is under contract at Dens Park until 2011 but, having been signed by Alex Rae, appears to be out of favour with Scott. Hamilton are the 15th club of the France-born ­Guadeloupe internationalist’s nomadic career but Reid is keen to ensure he sticks around at New Douglas Park a little longer.

When asked whether Antoine-Curier is a player he would like to sign on a permanent basis, Reid said: “Without a doubt. The only thing ­Mickael lets himself down with sometimes is that it’s difficult up there as a lone striker if you let it get to you and are chasing lost causes.

“But I’ve told him if he keeps doing what I would call the rubbish part of the game, he will get goals. He’s done it again on Sunday and I thought he was brilliant. He led the line, took things in and won us corners. I thought he was outstanding.”

Reid, who will watch Alex Neil, his captain, continue his rehabilitation from a hip operation when he plays in a bounce game against Rangers today, was also heartened by the performance of the former Hibs midfielder, Guillaume Beuzelin, who made his debut against Celtic.

The Frenchman had been training with former Easter Road manager Tony Mowbray at Celtic before agreeing last month to move to Accies until January.

“Beuzelin came on as the spare man in the middle of the park and you could see what he brings to the team in terms of passing the ball,” said Reid.