Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Stadium Plans, Transfer Rumours and Another League Defeat

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Another busy week has been and gone and there is plenty of Oxford United news to cover from the past seven days.

The week began with positive news after the club revealed plans for a new stadium, but that was as good as it got with Cameron Brannagan continually linked with a move to Blackpool before another league loss, this time at Wycombe Wanderers.

Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: New Stadium Plans, Transfer Stories and Winless 2022 Continues

Plans for New Stadium Revealed

On Monday, a leaked letter revealed the preferred site for a new stadium for Oxford United.

The document identified Stratfield Brake, just north of the city, as the location with plans for an 18,000 capacity purposely built stadium on the 18-hectare grounds.

The letter, which had been sent by the Oxfordshire County Council to the sports clubs that currently use the site, also stated the club would own the land for 250 years.

Later that day, the club confirmed the proposal and issued a statement regarding the future of a possible new home.

(You can read the full statement here)

Oxford have only been at their current Kassam Stadium since 2001 but pay a substantial rent on the ground to the former chairman, Firoz Kassam. Not only that, but the lease expires in 2026, potentially leaving the club without a home.

The club hope that building a new ground which is owned by Oxford United will provide financial and environmental sustainability.

Herbie Kane Suspended for Three Games After Club Decide Against Appeal

Oxford had to play promotion rivals Wycombe Wanderers without key midfielder Herbie Kane after the club decided against appealing his red card against Lincoln City.

The midfielder was dismissed with 15 minutes remaining at Sincil Bank and he will now serve a three-game ban.

The challenge looked 50/50 but when speaking to the Oxford Mail, Karl Robinson said: “I don’t think there was any malice in it, but in the stills available he lifts his foot and there is not enough clear evidence to overturn the card under appeal.”

Pompey Fixture Rearranged

Oxford’s Boxing Day clash away to Portsmouth was postponed due to a Covid outbreak in the Pompey squad, but the match has now been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 1.

Danny Cowley’s side visit Grenoble Road at the start of February with the U’s playing nine games in 36 days from the end of January to the rearranged fixture at Fratton Park.

U’s Youngster Joins Banbury United

Oxford United defender James Golding has left the club to join Southern League Premier Division Central leaders Banbury United on a one-month work experience.

The 17-year-old made his U’s debut against Tottenham Hotspur U21s in the Football League Trophy, coming on as a substitute in a 3-2 win. He was also an unused substitute in Oxford’s FA Cup clash against Bristol Rovers and League One matches against Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic respectively.

Blackpool Persistent on Brannagan

Last week, Oxford United rejected a bid for key player Cameron Brannagan from Blackpool but the Seasiders have put yet another offer on the table.

Now, they have offered defender Jordan Thorniley, who is currently on loan at Grenoble Road, along with cash for the midfielder, according to reports.

Thorniley is out of contract at Bloomfield Road in the summer but the club have an option of an additional 12 months.

As for Brannagan, he has 18 months remaining on his current deal so it could be the last chance to receive a decent fee for the former Liverpool man. That said, the U’s will be hoping to keep hold of the 25-year-old with the club mounting a serious promotion push to the Championship.

Oxford United Linked With Sky Blues Midfielder

According to Football League World, the U’s have been linked with Coventry City midfielder, Jordan Shipley.

The 24-year-old has yet to feature in the Championship this season but has made over 150 appearances for the Sky Blues after coming up through the academy.

Bolton Wanderers and Shrewsbury Town are also interested in the central midfielder, who could be available for loan or to buy.

Sykes Targeted by the Terriers

On Friday, Huddersfield Town emerged as a possible transfer target for Mark Sykes, according to Football Insider.

The 24-year-old is yet to commit his future to the club despite being out of contract in the summer. As a result, the Terriers could sign him in the summer on a free transfer.

Robinson Tight-Lipped on Transfers

After Karl Robinson was left frustrated by the way the news of Cameron Brannagan’s link to Blackpool came out in the media, the U’s boss has remained tight-lipped on transfers, both in and out.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, he confirmed an approach for an unnamed player from an unnamed club. He said: “We spoke to one club this week about one of our players and they knew exactly where we stood, so they could move on.

“We told them the price tag and they said they can’t get to that. I’m not saying who the player is, we’ll leave it for people to have that conversation.”

With the U’s being linked to Coventry midfielder Jordan Shipley, Robinson remained equally coy.

He added: “He’s a good player, but we’re not going to speculate on other players in this window.

“You have to be very careful about what people think you’re after and not after, so we don’t declare our interest in any player.

“I know of him, but it’s no comment on any players moving forward.”

Oxford United Remain Winless in 2022 With Defeat at Wycombe

Oxford’s poor start to 2022 continued with a 2-0 defeat at promotion rivals, Wycombe Wanderers. The U’s missed several first-half chances before the Chairboys took the lead after 33 minutes.

Unfortunately for Oxford, the second half was a similar story as Wycombe doubled their advantage.

The results sees Oxford drop to seventh in League One while Wycombe move to the top of the table.

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