It was another busy week for Oxford United, which ended with defeat against Lincoln City in League One.
Elsewhere, transfer news has begun with the U’s linked to a Scotland international while a bid for a key midfielder has been rejected.
Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Transfer Rumours, Contract Negotiations and League Defeat
U’s Linked With Former Kilmarnock Defender
Oxford United are one of several Football League clubs believed to be lining up a move for Philadelphia Union defender, Stuart Findlay, according to Football Insider.
The 26-year-old made the switch from Scottish football with Kilmarnock to the States in the summer but has seen his game time limited to just nine appearances.
Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Blackpool and Preston North End are also believed to be monitoring the defender, along with Hibernian and Hearts, the latter of which he rejected a move to before leaving for the MLS.
The former Newcastle United defender enjoyed five separate seasons with Killie, racking up just short of 150 appearances. He also netted on his one and only Scotland appearance.
Oxford have been in for the defender before, with the club showing interest back in 2019. However, it is believed the asking price was too high at the time.
Oxford United Striker Matty Taylor Shortlisted for Player of the Month
On Wednesday, Oxford striker Matty Taylor was shortlisted for the League One Player of the Month for December.
The 31-year-old has been in prolific form this season, reaching 12 goals before the turn of the new year, including four goals in five games last month.
His strikes helped the U’s earn ten points in December, moving the club up to fifth in the League One table.
However, Rotherham midfielder Dan Barlaser claimed the award ahead of Taylor, Charlton shot-stopper Craig MacGillivray and Alex Pritchard of Sunderland.
With several first-team players out of contract in the summer, midfielder Mark Sykes has given his say on his current situation.
The 24-year-old has been in devastating form this season, scoring an impressive eight goals. But it is due to his form that has raised alarm bells for U’s fans as he enters the final six months of his current deal.
Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Sykes said: “I want to do what’s right for me.
“We speak with the club constantly and obviously January’s going to be massive in terms of what happens.
“That’s for me and the club to speak about, but nothing’s been spoken about in terms of any new news.
“I love it (at United), especially because I’m playing so well and scoring goals.”
Gavin Whyte to Stay at Oxford United Until the End of the Season
According to reports in Wales, Oxford are set to keep hold of winger Gavin Whyte until the summer.
The 25-year-old rejoined the U’s in the summer on loan from Cardiff City but could have been recalled during the January transfer window.
However, according to Glen Williams, the winger is set to stay put in Oxford over concerns about a lack of game time in the Welsh capital.
Blackpool Bid Rejected
On Friday, Oxford United rejected a six-figure bid from Blackpool for midfielder, Cameron Brannagan, according to the Oxford Mail.
The Seasiders submitted a £500,000 offer in the summer which was also rejected by the U’s and it is believed that the new proposal is around the same valuation.
The midfielder, who joined Oxford in January 2018, has made well over 150 appearances for the U’s. His current deal isn’t set to expire until the summer of 2023.
Despite that, the Championship outfit remain interested in the 25-year-old but Oxford clearly aren’t willing to listen to the recent offers.
That morning, Brannagan said to the Oxford Mail: “My focus is to get promoted with this club because I love this club and I care for it a lot.
“They gave me the opportunity to play first-team football when not many people were giving me that opportunity.
“I don’t really look at stuff and I don’t really care, to be honest.”
Plumley Joins the Hoops
Oxford’s young goalkeeper Kie Plumley has joined Oxford City on an emergency loan. The 18-year-old impressed while on loan at Weston-super-Mare but with the return of Jack Stevens, any chance of making the Oxford squad look limited.
He joins Oxford City with regular goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski ruled out with a positive Covid result.
U’s Lose at Lincoln
Oxford United’s three month unbeaten away run came to an abrupt end with defeat at struggling Lincoln City.
Defensive errors were a factor in both of the Imps’ goals while the loss means the U’s missed the chance to move up to third in League One.
To make matters worse, Brannagan was substituted before the break after picking up an injury while Herbie Kane was dismissed with a straight red card for a 50/50 challenge.