Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Season Finale and Transfer Rumours

Oxford United

Oxford United ended their season with a 1-1 draw at home against Doncaster Rovers. Also this week, plenty of U’s players have attracted interest from Championship clubs.

Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Transfer News and Draw Against Doncaster

U’s Lose in Oxfordshire Senior Cup Final

A young Oxford United side suffered a final defeat against Oxford City in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup final on Tuesday night.

The U’s took an early lead through Tyler Goodrham but the Hoops levelled after just 15 minutes.

The Vanarama National League South side scored what proved to be the winner with 20 minutes remaining when former Oxford youngster Josh Ashby fired home.

Elliott Moore Targeted by Championship Club

Bristol City have identified Oxford United captain Elliott Moore as a potential transfer target, according to the Oxford Mail.

Robins boss Nigel Pearson was in attendance as the U’s beat MK Dons in League One and was impressed with the 25-year-old.

The pair have also worked together before. Moore played under Pearson at Leicester City and also spent 18 months together at Belgian club OH Leuven, where Moore was made captain. However, the Robins boss later dismissed the report, claiming: “Me and (assistant) Curtis (Fleming) decided to just go and have a look at one or two players who we have been viewing over a period of time.”

The defender is out of contract in the summer but U’s boss Karl Robinson previously revealed the club have an option to extend his deal by a further 12 months.

If he were to join the Robins, he would become the second Oxford defender in successive seasons to move to Ashton Gate following Rob Atkinson’s transfer last season.

Championship Clubs Eye U’s Midfielder

Interest is high in Oxford midfielder Cameron Brannagan after reports suggested that five Championship clubs have identified the 25-year-old as a summer transfer option.

Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Stoke City, Preston North End and Blackpool are all said to be interested in the former Liverpool man, who is entering the final 12 months of his contract.

The Seasiders expressed interest in Brannagan on several occasions last season with the U’s reportedly rejected numerous bids, while QPR Director of Football Les Ferdinand watched as Oxford beat MK Dons in League One last week.

Bristol City Boss Interested in Mark Sykes

Having dismissed links with Elliott Moore, Bristol World claimed that Pearson had focused his attention on midfielder Mark Sykes.

The 24-year-old is out of contract in the summer and talks of a new Oxford deal haven’t been publicly spoken about.

The former Northern Ireland U21 international looks set to depart the club upon the expiry of his current deal.

Oxford United End Season With Draw Against Doncaster

Back onto matters on the field, the U’s rounded off the campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Doncaster Rovers, who themselves suffered relegation to League Two.

Billy Bodin put the U’s into the lead but an effort from the edge of the box beat Jack Stevens as the game finished level.

The match was a dead rubber for both sides but Oxford gave game time to youngsters James Golding and Gatlin O’Donkor.

The U’s ended the season in eighth place on 76 points.

Robinson on Out of Contract Players

U’s boss Karl Robinson has already made decisions about who is staying and who will be leaving the club in the summer.

The U’s have eight first-team players out of contract next month, but some have the option for an additional 12 months.

Among those with an option are Elliott Moore and James Henry. Robinson has previously mentioned that the club would trigger the defender’s deal and the U’s boss wants to keep hold of Henry, despite limited game time this season due to injury.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, he said: “James Henry is somebody we want here next year. We’ve had a conversation, he knows that.

“James Henry’s contribution at the beginning of the season was massive, but you forget about that because of how bad his back of the season has been.

“We know how important he is to the football club and he’s another player we want to be part of what we’re trying to achieve.”

Alex Rodriguez Gorrin, who has also missed much of the campaign through injury, has been offered fresh terms by the club, according to Robinson.

Mark Sykes was the most noticeable absentee from the squad against Doncaster on Saturday, with Robinson expecting to see the midfielder depart in the summer.

Sam Winnall and Jamie Hanson are also out of contract and failed to feature against the Yorkshire club.

Robinson added: “I think it’s evident, you know the loan players go back to their clubs.

“Sam Winnall’s contract is up, Sykesy’s contract is up, he’ll obviously move on as well. Jamie Hanson’s is up as well.”

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