Neighbours to join United
The Scottish Premier League has invited Dundee to replace Rangers, who have been demoted to the third division for this coming season.
The decision follows the SPL's annual meeting and means Dunfermline Athletic are similarly definitely relegated to the second tier.
The SPL have also indicated there will be no reworking of the fixture list despite both Dundee United and their city rivals being due to play at home on the same weekend on nine occasions. There is also a clash of Old Firm duo Celtic and Rangers three times.
"The fixtures will be as they are but there will clearly be an element of flexibility required, both with potentially Rangers and Celtic being at home the same weekend and Dundee and Dundee United being at home on the same weekend," chief executive Neil Doncaster told BBC Sport. "We will work with the police and the clubs to work through those implications."