Live blog: January 2020 transfer window

Is it really that time again? The January transfer window is open and fans are catastrophising about losing Rob Dickie, Cameron Brannagan and Shandon Baptiste. And Simon Eastwood, Chris Cadden and Alex Gorrin. And Mark Sykes and… well you get the idea. You can keep up with all the rumours, comings and goings by checking here from time to time. I’ll try and keep up so that you don’t have to.

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Chris Cadden has left for Columbus Crew after the MLS side triggered the clause in his loan deal to return for the start of their new season. Also sneaking out is Ousanna Zamouri who was on a short term deal, playing one EFL Trophy game.

Jonte Smith who is currently playing for Cheltenham Town is interesting Motherwell and Bolton Wanderers.

Friday 3 January 2020

With Chris Cadden on his way, Karl Robinson is interested in signing Steven O’Donnell from Kilmarnock and Nathan Holland from West Ham.

Blackburn Rovers are apparently interested in signing midfielder Alex Gorrin and Bournemouth are considering a move for Middlesborough winger, Marvin Johnson.

Saturday 4 January 2020

Karl Robinson confirmed that he was interested in Steven O’Donnell along with Feynoord midfielder Liam Kelly. He also suggested that Ricardinho’s agent has been in touch, which would presumably be a backstop position if other deals didn’t materialise.

Sunday 5 January 2020

There’s a lot of Marcus Browne talk at the moment. The Middlesborough player fits Karl Robinson’s desire to add a pace winger to the squad, Coventry, Doncaster and Charlton are also interested.

Tuesday 7 January 2020

The Sunderland Echo have reported that Oxford are set to beat Sunderland to the signing of Liam Kelly from Feyenoord. The rumour is that he was in the stand on Saturday for the FA Cup match with Hartlepool.

Former Oxford captain Jake Wright has had his loan deal with Bolton Wanderers cut short and returned to Sheffield United.

Wednesday 8 January 2020

A double whammy as the club announce the signings of Nathan Holland from West Ham on loan along with Liam Kelly.

Thursday 9 January 2020

Not content with Kelly and Holland, KRob dropped Rob Atkinson from Eastleigh and the returning Marcus Browne from Middlesborough.

The Telegraph are reporting that Leeds United are interested in signing Cameron Brannagan. Leeds are well served in midfield, but have injury problems in that area. If you add their ambition to make the Premier League, it all looks like a short-term option. Brannagan would need to decide whether he’s up for the scrap for places at Elland Road.

One time Oxford loanee Carlton Morris has signed for MK Dons on loan from Norwich City while Alex Mowatt is rumoured to be interesting Nottingham Forest in a loan deal.

Friday 10 January 2020

The Scottish press are fairly certain that Celtic’s full-back Lee O’Connor is set to sign on loan. Derby manager Philip Cocu has said that George Thorne will go back out on loan, but didn’t imply it was back to Oxford.

Sunday 12 January 2020

The eh? What? Uh? news of the transfer window is that Karl Robinson has been linked with the vacancy at Malaga. As I say, eh? What? Uh?

Thursday 8 January 2020

Jordan Archer has signed for Fulham after his short-term deal with Oxford covering Simon Eastwood came to an end.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Oxford signed George Thorne from Derby until the end of the season. Thorne had been on loan, but has been out injured for much of the season.

Former loanee goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell has joined Macclesfield on loan until the end of the season from Derby.

Friday 24 January 2020

Rob Hall has signed for Forest Green Rovers on loan, but not before signing a year’s extension to his contract with Oxford.

As predicted, Rob Atkinson, signed earlier this month, has signed for Eastleigh on loan.

Saturday 25 January 2020

Lee O’Connor, the Celtic right-back linked with us earlier this month, has signed on loan with Partick Thistle.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Another loanee, Joe Riley, has joined Mansfield from Plymouth on loan.

30 January 2020

Ouch, Tariqe Fosu and Shandon Baptiste have signed for Brentford in a deal which Karl Robinson describes as significantly higher than the rumoured £3m that was suggested earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, if you’re still reading, Conor McAleny has signed for Shrewsbury Town on loan from Fleetwood.

Transfer window: Liveblog – July 2019

We’re in month three of the creeping death of the transfer window. If you can bear it; you can read all about May and June here. In short, Rob Hall renewed his contract, Curtis Nelson didn’t, Alex Gorrin signed plus a slew of under-23s. We’re still waiting on Chris Cadden from Motherwell.

Elsewhere, Kemar Roofe and Callum O’Dowda have been subject to speculation, although news on those fronts has reduced to a dribble. Strap in, July’s here…

Monday 1 July 2019

Seems a bit fanciful, but then this is the club who signed Ricky Holmes, Teeny Tiny Jack Payne is wanted by Gillingham after his release from Huddersfield.

Probably the least surprising news of modern times is that Tariq Fosu has signed for us taking another one off our ‘possible’ list. Talking of which, Chris Cadden’s move from Motherwell might be on the skids as Sunderland are now interested.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Oxford City goal machine Kabongo Tshimanga, frequently linked with us – making him a modern day Norman Sylla – has signed with the decidedly less glamorous Boreham Wood in the Conference.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

We knew Teeny Tiny Jack Payne wasn’t going anywhere as inauspicious as Gillingham. He’s signed for Lincoln City instead.

Thursday 4 July 2019

Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once… Chris Cadden has now gained the interest of Columbus Crew in the USA who can’t actually play him due to overseas player restrictions. So, if they did buy him, they might loan him to us. However, they’re quibbling over the fee. The impasse could leave a gap for Sunderland to exploit, except they’re restricted due to ongoing discussions about a takeover. Got that?

Friday 5 July 2019

Tyrone Marsh and Robbie Cundy; both ‘future’s of the club’ during their time in the juniors have signed for Boreham Wood and Exeter (on loan from Bristol City) respectively.

Sunday 7 July 2019

On the day that Oxford play Rangers in a friendly, the universe continues to contract. It seems the Glaswegians want Leeds (because it’s always Leeds) striker Kemar Roofe. The price being quoted is £5million, which seems a paltry sum given that’s not that far north of what Leeds paid us.

Monday 8 July 2019

Spelling’s worst nightmare Fiacre Kelleher, has re-joined Macclesfield Town where, apparently, he spent last season on loan.

Tuesday 9 July 2019

A decent legit rumour; Oxford have tabled a £500,000 bid for Kilmarnock centre-back Stuart Findlay.

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Cosmopolitan sophistocat Çhrïstøphę Wîldë has resisted the lure of the gutter; after being linked to a number of Championship clubs following some unrest at Sheffield United.

As baffling transfers of the summer go, Tsun Dai’s move to Wolves for genuine money will take some beating.

Ched Evans is in KRob’s sights after he scored a bucketload of goals for Fleetwood last season.

And, as predictable as the sun rising in the morning, MApp didn’t get the Donny Rovers job, Darren Moore did.

Thursday 11 July 2019

KRob’s hopes of bringing Luke ‘Garbs’ Garbutt back to Oxford have been dashed now signed for Ipswich Town.

Sunday 14 July 2019

HITC, a site of questionable credibility, claims Neil Lennon has been watching Sheffield United’s Gorgeous George Baldock. He’s been keeping an eye on him for over a year, but only admits in the final paragraph that luring him north is a completely different kettle of fish.

Monday 15 July 2019

Donegal’s finest, John O’Bika has is on trial at Stevenage with the view to a long term injury.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Itchy footed midfielder Callum O’Dowda is on the verge of a move to Fulham having got bored at Bristol City. We should be set to benefit from a decent sell-on fee, although the clubs are quibbling over the fee.

Elsewhere, Marcus Browne could be set to leave West Ham with Manuel Pellegrini preferring some ready made wing work rather than making his own.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Oxford have given up in their pursuit of Stuart Findlay after a number of other clubs got involved jacking the price up. Perhaps KRob should keep his cards slightly closer to his chest?

Thursday 18 July 2019

Goalkeeper Max Crocombe has joined Brisbane Roar where he’ll flatter to deceive and Dan Crowley will be joining PClot at Birmingham City for an argument after he signed for £700,000.

Monday 22 July 2019

(1, 2, 3, 4) Toni Martinez has signed for Portuguese team Famalicão following his release from West Ham. In a brief panic, the Football League World website claim that Blackburn are tracking Simon Eastwood, although they are also on the verge of signing Christian Walton from Wigan.

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Gavin Whyte speculation has gone quiet in recent weeks. Cardiff City are apparently preparing a derisory £1.5m bid.

Holy moley; Chris Cadden has signed from Motherw… nope, Columbus Crew. A credible explanation for the less-than-conventional signing is that signing via the Crew, who have a tangential link to board member Eric Thohir, avoids paying compensation to Motherwell, which seems like a bit of a scam.

Thursday 25 July 2019

Marcus Browne has gone all Marvin Johnson and is heading for Middlesborough.

Friday 26 July 2019

The best defender in the land Joe Skarz has popped up at Kettering Town.

Saturday 27 July 2019

The final pre-season fixtures of the summer have seen a few players crawl out from the woodwork. Jonte ‘angle’ Smith is on trail at Cheltenham, Donegal’s finest Jon O’bika has popped up at Cambridge United, Todd Kane has signed for QPR and Scott Davies has joined Slough Town.

Monday 29 July 2019

With a sense of resignation, it’s been confirmed that Gavin Whyte has been signed by Cardiff for something like £2 million; some way short of the £5 million the club apparently were asking for. Just as that news sank in, came the news we’ve signed Ben Woodburn from Liverpool on a season’s loan.

Tuesday 30 July 2019

The season must be approaching because there’s been a signing bonanza. Anthony Forde, who last season was at Rotherham has signed along with Elliot Moore from Leicester. 

Liveblog: Transfer window – June 2019

Welcome to June’s Transfer Window, consider this a shelter from the storm of Oxford United tweets complaining about ‘y we dont no about nu singings’. Come and drench yourself in the cleansing waters every spurious rumour in the Oxford United universe.

May was a thrill-ride of former loanees and youth players signing for Conference South teams, you can read about it all here, but let’s carry over three stories of interest.

Having been offered a new contract which he’s expected to turn down, there’s little news of Curtis Nelson’s plans for next season. Leeds’ failure in the play-offs have sparked mutterings of Kemar Roofe going to the Premier League and Callum O’Dowda has done what he does and pulled a sicky to push for a move, possibly to Elland Road.

Saturday 1 June 2019

Jonjoe Kenny could be about to get his umlauts out by joining Schalke on loan from Everton after being squeezed out at Goodison.

Sunday 2 June 2019

One half of the Oxford United Jedward – we know the name is a portmanteau, we’re just not sure which is Je and which is Dward – Gavin Whyte is attracting interest from Nottingham Forest. We’re not one to cast aspersions, well, we are, but let’s pretend we’re not; but the story was broken by newspapers in Northern Ireland, where Whyte is away on international duty. Unless a Nottinghamshire hack has speculatively gone to Ireland sniffing for a story, we’d speculate this might be coming from the Camp of Whyte. Is he about to O’Dowda us?

Wednesday 5 June 2019

INCOMING? We’ve been linked with Charlton winger Tariqe Fosu <strikethrough>who might be a good replacement for Gavin Whyte</strikethrough>. Apparently the race for his signature is a three-way battle between us, Lincoln and Rotherham. KRob worked with Fosu when was at Charlton, because KRob seems to have worked with every professional footballer in the country at some point. Presumably Fosu wouldn’t have to uproot to come to Oxford, so maybe that’s a go-er.

Friday 7 June 2019

Leeds are ready to offer Kemar Roofe a big pay rise to keep him at Elland Road. Roofe was keen to start negotiations a year ago when he wasn’t top scorer, Leeds are ready now he is. Thems the breaks, I guess.

Meanwhile poor old Callum O’Dowda may have to find a new club to agitate a move to, the same report says Leeds aren’t interested. The big O’D (Original Defector) will have to focus on engineering a move elsewhere.

Sunday 9 June 2019

KRob’s attempt at signing every Charlton player took another step with rumours that we’d like to sign Defender Jason Pearce. Sunderland and Portsmouth are also in for him, so KRob will have his work cut out.

Monday 10 June 2019

Derby manager Frank Lampard is interested in signing loan specialist Todd Kane. Lardy Lamps will vaguely remember Kane from his days flushing the young full-back’s head down the toilet and stealing his dinner money at Chelsea.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Matt Green is becoming a modern day Jefferson Louis after signing for his eleventh club; Grimsby Town. Dejohn Noel-Williams, briefly of this parish, has made the big time with a move to Wealdstone.

Our short lived pursuit of Jason Pearce may already be over as Portsmouth are apparently his preferred destination.

Meanwhile, Jonjoe Kenny’s loan has been confirmed by Schalke, who totally went there.

Wednesday 11 June 2019

Former loan striker, Jordan Bowery has joined evil ne’er do wells, MK Dons after turning down a new contract at Crewe. Celtic and Rangers are fighting again, this time over Marcus Browne, who they want on loan. Get a room, guys.

Thursday 12 June 2019

This one makes a lot of sense; apparently newly promoted Aston Villa want to bring Kemar Roofe back to the West Midlands.

Friday 14 June 2019

Fact-vacuum The Sun (actually, the Scottish version The McSun) are reporting that we might be in for Motherwell’s midfielder Chris Cadden, the basis of the story being that KRob scouts in Scotland regularly (signings = 0).

Saturday 16 June 2019

Former youth team player Marvel, yes Marvel, Ekpiteta has signed for Newport County. His brother Marvin, yes Marvin and Marvel, plays for Leyton Orient.

Monday 17 June 2019

Looks like Curtis Nelson is off to Cardiff City to join creepy Uncle Warnock in the Championship. Apparently Stewart Donald at Sunderland wanted to continue Project: Oxford (North), by signing Nelson, but the defender wants to play in the Championship.

Tuesday 19 June 2019

That Chris Cadden rumour appears to be gathering pace with The Herald reporting that a fee of around £300,000 has been established. But, more than that, KRob’s going for a double also targetting Cadden’s teammate Alex Gorrin.

Elsewhere, we’re also in the market for Jorge Grant from Nottingham Forest. I mean, how many central midfielders does one team need?

Thursday 20 June 2019

We’ve got a live one! Alex Gorrin has signed a two-year contract after leaving Motherwell. Described as tough tackling ball winner, his signing must raise doubts over Ahmed Kashi.

MeanwhioeSheffield Wednesday have shown an interest in signing one Cheyenne Armani Keanu Roma Dunkley from Wigan despite being under some kind of Transfer embargo. So goodness knows how that’s supposed to work.

Oh, and while you’re here…

Sunday 23 June 2019

The Scottish Sun, who are rapidly becoming the voice of Oxford United transfer news are reporting that we’re about to sign Danny Wilson who is neither the former Barnsley manager nor the 80s pop band. He’s currently at Colorado Rapids.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

The general radio silence surrounding the club may be telling as Tariqe Fosu (see 5 June) is apparently on the verge of signing after announcing he was leaving Charlton.

Thursday 27 June 2019

It’s all go; brother of Love Island star Wes, Curtis Nelson has finally signed his deal with Cardiff. The original man-bun Ryan Williams has signed for Portsmouth. Former junior yellow Robbie Cundy, who joined Bristol City earlier in the summer is being lined up for a loan move to Exeter City. Oxford City striker, and sometime Oxford United target Kabongo Tshimanga is set for ‘a Conference team’. Teeny tiny Jack Payne, recently released by Huddersfield and occasionally mentioned as a possible target could be on his way to join managerial cuckoo, PClot at Birmingham City.

Talking of which, former loanee Garry Monk could be on his way to replace Frank Lampy Lamps at Derby.

Sunday 30 June 2019

Legit legend James Constable will be tearing it up at Hungerford Town next season while the less-legendary Jerome Sinclair has snubbed us for VVV-Venlo in Holland.

Liveblog: Transfer window – May 2019


Ah summer, the gentle caress of the sun on cheek, light summer dresses, birds chirping happily in the trees. Time to freshen up, let air flow through your soul, and renew. Fling those windows open, for light is here to replace the dark!

Except if the window is a transfer window, then a swarm of wasps will consume your head, sting your eyeballs until pustules ravage your eyelids. But, football is dead, long live transfer windows.

So, what can we expect? New contracts for Rob Hall and Curtis Nelson? Freedom for Jon Obika, Jonte Smith and Scott Shearer? Players returning to their clubs to continue their long and winding journey towards an two-year contract at Fleetwood Town? Let us not forget, Fierce Keheller’s mission to play for every Conference South team in the country.

So, welcome to the summer’s transfer window, what a ride it’ll be.  

Tuesday May 7 2019

Are we off to a flyer or what? No. George Waring who Michael Appleton called upon to save us in the JPT Final in 2016 – replacing Callum O’Dowda – has signed a new contract at Chester City.

Wes Thomas has been released by Grimsby Town with a glorious implosion on Instagram. What goes on in the changing room stays in the changing room, except when you’ve been made redundant by voicemail, it seems.

Lee Bradbury, most famous at Oxford United for being dad to The Millennial Julian Alsopp, Harvey, has become manager at Yemi Odubade’s Eastbourne Borough.

Wednesday May 8 2019

The opening days of the transfer window are like the early episodes in a series of Game of Thrones. You have to keep your eye on apparently inconsequential exchanges because they could have a significant impact later on. So, expect Alex Jakubiak – who has gone back to Watford from Bristol Rovers and Isaac Buckley-Ricketts – set to join Macclesfield from Peterborough – to have their manhoods cut off and be incinerated by a dragon some time in mid-August.

Thursday May 9 2019

Sir Dropsalot, Sam Slocombe has been released by Bristol Rovers while former Oxford full-back and general Angry Young Man, James Clarke is in talks for new contract.

Cosmopolitan Premier League sophisticat Chris Wilder has taken a break from smoking Gauloise cigarettes and wearing black roll-neck jumpers, and started ditching players left right and centre. Ricky Holmes who is recovering from a fractured man-bun, the top-man’s top man, Jake Wright and Samir Carruthers have all been put up for sale. Poor old Marvelous Marvin Johnson has been sent back to Middlesbrough where he faces an uncertain future under Tony Pulis, who faces an uncertain future under Steve Gibson.

In the nether regions, Jack Midson and his conjoined twin Sammy Moore have become managers of Hemel Hempstead Town.

Like snipping dangle berries after a week of finding yourself at a vegan yoga retreat, KRob expressed relief at releasing a bunch of hangers’ on – Scott Shearer, Fiarce Keheller, Jon Obika, Charlie Raglan, Jonte Smith are all on their way. Curtis Nelson has been offered a contract he’ll turn down while Rob Hall has also been offered a deal.

Jugged-eared centre-back Michael Raynes has been released Crewe, while the 2016 striker who isn’t Kemar Roofe or Danny Hylton (or George Waring), Jordan Bowery, is in talks for a new contract.

Crawley are in discussion with the world’s oldest man, Dannie Bulman about a contract extension. Presumably negotiations have to work around his nap times and involve shouting into his ear-trumpet.

Bristol Rovers are apparently in discussion with Chris Wilder about signing some of his cast offs, The Bristol Post reporting that Samir Carruthers and Ricky Holmes could be filling The Gas treatment room next season, although presumably that doesn’t rule out Jake Wright either.

Monday 13 May 2019

A speculative piece in the Hull Daily Mail has linked us with goalkeeper Luke Southwood. Quite where he’d fit into the Simon Eastwood/Jack Stephens equation is anyone’s guess unless KRob is preparing his options in the event of an offer coming in for Eastwood. Eastwood? Southwood? Expect us to linked to Tim Westwood soon.

Tuesday 14 May 2019

John Dempster, fabled member of the team which successfully navigated us out of  the Football League in 2006 has been appointed manager of Mansfield Town. While Cheltenham Charlie Raglan has signed for Cheltenham.

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Junior Us news, Alex Fisher whose scrawny frame briefly featured for Oxford in the darker of the Conference years has left Yeovil, while Robbie Cundy has gone full Sam Ricketts on us and got himself a two-year contract with Bristol City.

Cundy has been at Bath City, where Ryan Clarke was last season. Clarke’s performances have earned him a year’s extension with the Romans.

Friday 17 May 2019

Following Leeds’ failure in the play-offs there are early rumblings about the future of Kemar Roofe. Roofe has a year left on his contract and was top scorer last season despite a period out with injury. There was speculation that he might move to Newcastle in January but knowing how much Chris Wilder values Michael Appleton’s judgement, Sheffield United may be an obvious destination.

1,2,3,4… Toni Martinez looks set to leave West Ham while pleasantly named Josh Smile has signed for Maidenhead United. Apparently Smile was on our books at some point, though I’m blowed if I can remember him. Jack Payne, Huddersfield’s pocket sized loan specialist has been released as has Tyrone Barnett by Cheltenham.

Sunday 19 May 2019

Callum O’Dowda appears to be on his way out of Bristol City. There’s a familiarity with the story, O’Dowda has a year on his contract and is refusing to sign an extension. With a number of clubs interested, Leeds especially, he’s suddenly gotten himself injured, though not injured enough to miss the Republic of Ireland’s upcoming internationals.

Monday 20 May 2019

In Speculationville, The News, the Portsmouth website have suggested that Curtis Nelson would be a decent signing for Pompey. They admit that Nelson’s main reason for not signing a new contract is because he wants to play in the Championship. The paper fails to acknowledge that Portsmouth don’t meet that criteria.

Alex Dyer ducked and dodged a question about becoming Kilmarnock manager now Steve Clarke has become the Scotland manager.

A tweet from a Torquay journalist suggested we’ve already signed Oxford City’s striker Kabongo Tshimanga.

Defensive hairdo Freddie Grant has joined Maidenhead.

Tuesday 21 May 2019

OK, deep breath; 17-year-old Kevin Bercoe has signed following his release by Wolves. Aarons Heap and McCreadie have signed short contract extensions and Sam ‘not that Sam Allardyce’ Allardyce has come from it’s not clear where. Despite a slew of activity, these appear to be ones for the future.

Manny Agboola, who has been fourth wheel in the goalkeeping department at Oxford has quietly left the club.

And, in Carlton Morris news; one of MApp’s earliest loan signings has signed a contract extension with Norwich while being simultaneously loaned out to Rotherham for the season.

Friday 24 May 2019

If you ever want to use that #oufc Twitter trope of referencing an obscure former player in a joke, then 2008 is a go-to season. A contemporary of Michael Husbands and Levi Reid, Jake Cole, who was signed on loan as cover for Billy Turley, has signed for Maidstone United.

Saturday 25 May 2019

Chelsea have finally decided that Todd Kane, who has had more clubs on loan than Tiger Woods after his luggage got lost on his way to the British Open, isn’t going to make the grade. Hull City are interested.

Talking of child protégées who didn’t quite make it, Josh Ashby has signed for Oxford City.

Tuesday 29 May 2019

Bristol Rovers want Alex Jakubiak back, but that may just be a regurgitation of a previous story.

Former loanee Zeli Ismail who had everything Jordan Graham had – a Wolves contract, but missed one thing – talent, even though he was once tipped to be a £100m player – has been released by Walsall.

Hero of the home derby win over Swindon in 2012, Lee Holmes, has been offered a new deal by Exeter City.

What about Giorgio Rasulo, I hear you ask? He’s been offered a new deal by Mike Ford at Banbury.

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Rob Hall has step-overed his way to a new one-year contract. Hall has been injured for the best part of two-years but KRob is ready to take a punt on him. With Curtis Nelson unlikely to sign his new contract, Hall’s signature should signal the start of the next phase of next season’s planning.

Thursday 30 May 2019

Armani Little has signed pre-contract terms with Torquay, whatever that is, while Sam Slocombe is in talks with S****horpe.

Friday 31 May 2019

Ryan Williams who was mentioned in dispatches *waves vaguely at the top of the page* somewhere up there appears to have rejected his contract offer at Rotherham. Meanwhile James Clarke has left Bristol Rovers to make whoopie with Walsall.

Comment: Nelson’s column

Some transfers run smoothly, with fans wishing players well as they move onto the next stage of their career – think Ryan Ledson or Kemar Roofe. Some transfers are messier – Callum O’Dowda or Marvin Johnson. Some are just plain weird, as anyone who remembers the protracted saga of Mark Watson’s vanishing act in 2000 will confirm.

Curtis Nelson’s departure from the club is threatening to get messy. It should come as no surprise to hear that Nelson is likely to go either in January or at the end of the season. He’s an outstanding player with potential to play at a level beyond that of avoiding relegation from League 1.

At 25, his next contract will define his career and unless he’s offered eye-watering amounts of money or has developed such a bond with the club that he’s happy to be remembered as a loyal, if under-achieving servant – Joey Beauchamp? – it seems Oxford is unlikely to fulfil his needs.

No one should deny Nelson’s right to pursue his ambition, even at the short-term expense of the club. Fans will regularly remind you that no player is bigger than the club, but the quid pro quo is that no player should be naive enough to trust a club which may use its size and stature to retain or discard its assets as it chooses. Fans might pay today’s wages, but players must control their own future.

The question is not whether he should leave, but more how that might happen.

There’s been plenty of finger-pointing following Nelson’s uncomfortable interview after the defeat to Plymouth; some say he was being unprofessional and disrespectful, others say it was a calculated attempt by Karl Robinson to humiliate him and/or turn him against the fans.

Let’s start with that. The Nelson affair has been going on for some time. He was ‘stripped’ of the captaincy for the Wycombe game in September and even when John Mousinho wasn’t available he didn’t get it back.

At the time Karl Robinson said it was to give Nelson some breathing space to decide his future. I think it was more a crude attempt to force him to sign a new deal. Crude rather than manipulative. Clubs with a player like Nelson – a saleable asset coming to the end of his contract – have little room for manoeuvre, so perhaps the club thought removing the captaincy might expedite his decision.

Was Tuesday’s interview stage two in a calculated plan? If Robinson was such an arch schemer, I suspect we wouldn’t have had some of his more bizarre outbursts this year, for example giving Shandon Baptiste the captaincy or claiming that Jamie Hanson wasn’t his signing. I think it’s more that Nelson is usually a good man to put in front of the media and Robinson, under pressure, didn’t think through the circumstances or consequences.

A shrewder move would have been to keep Nelson away from the media and present him as a settled, happy player. That way any interested clubs might feel they need to spend more to prize him out of our hands. An unhappy Nelson is more likely to encourage clubs to offer lower fees knowing the player is more likely to want out of his existing situation.

Was Nelson disrespectful? It wasn’t a great interview, but he’d just come off a heavy defeat to his old team at a time when speculation around him was intensifying. Presumably some dialogue is going on now and perhaps has been for some time. In the short term, the club hold the key to his immediate future, so it must be frustrating to have to bite his lip while it all plays out. It’s reasonable to think that it’s consuming a lot of his headspace. Someone asking him about his future when everyone knows the media friendly answer is a non-committal ‘I’m focussed on Oxford until someone tells me differently’ must be intensely frustrating. In the circumstances, the frustration boiled over.

Despite the loss of the captaincy, there’s been no sign that he lacks motivation or commitment on the pitch. No player is completely impervious to external pressures or lapses in form, but if you were to list our weaknesses, Nelson wouldn’t be high on that list.

Ultimately, I don’t think either party is playing a particularly calculated game. What I think we’re seeing is another example of poor organisation within the club. I don’t know how post-match communications are handled; whether it’s the player, manager or someone else who decides who steps up, but it was clearly a mistake to put Nelson in front of the microphone given the position he was in. Everyone could have handled it better.

The problem is that with each new screw-up or wobble comes more questions and assumptions. You end up in a confrontational situation that no party intended or wanted.

Some managers handle these situations better than others, Robinson might wear his heart on his sleeve, but sometimes he needs to use his head to get the best outcome.

Liveblog: January transfer window

The January transfer window is open, and keeping up is a bit of a pain, so rather than trying to write a new post with every rumour, I’ll keep updating this post with bits and pieces.

1 February: Jonte angle


The rules around transfer windows are complex, and while Mick Brown might have problems operating a fax machine, he has had no problem finding an obscure sub-clause called ‘Oh screw it, it’s only Oxford’. This has allowed us to make our fifth signing of the window, outside the window. Bermudan Jonte Smith has joined in what the club called ‘a low-risk’ signing from Lewes. This is either code for ‘proven goalscorer at this level’ or ‘really very cheap’. Which could it be?

Anyway, he seems very happy to have joined, so we’re happy to have him.

31 January: The Vaughan identity?

This is the denouement of a month exhilarating rumour mongering, the thrilling climax of the January transfer window. That is, if drilling your eye-sockets brings you to a thrilling climax. OK, let’s go:

When James Vaughan was called by his agent this morning and was told ‘you’re going down’, he assumed, like us, he was signing for Oxford. It turns out he was going down to the south coast, missing the junction off the A34 with the big brown football sign on it and heading straight to Portsmouth.

Still, after rumours lasting, ooh, nearly seven minutes, it was confirmed that Jerome Sinclair has signed on loan from Watford. “That’s not Antoine Greizmann” said Oxford fans experiencing expectation hyper-inflation your average Venezuelan greengrocer would describe as a bit toppy.

The Ivo Pekalski saga is rapidly becoming Oxford United’s Brexit; KRob is demanding things he has no power to enforce or that Pekalski has any incentive to accept. KRob’s unicorn solution was to tell the Swede to GET ANOTHER CLUB by the 8th January or face ‘lots of running’. 22 solid days on from a red line so passable, it might have been defecated by UKIPs racist-in-chief Gerard Batten, Pekalski is sitting tight asking for money to leave, KRob’s response is to not give it him so he’s going to, um, pay him his salary until the end of the season instead. That’ll show him.

The prospect of KRob’s ‘wow’ signing grew considerably smaller as the transfer window’s witching hour crept unrelentingly closer. We were linked with Bermudan international Jonte Smith from *adjusts glasses and reads at arms length like your mum trying to focus on a Chinese takeaway menu* Lewes. Lewes are currently in the *turns page, turns page, turns page, turns page, scans down* Isthmian League, which for those of you who don’t know is in 1974. Now, before you start scoffing, Smith was a big money signing for Lewes. He was paid for using funds raised through the club’s PayPal account. Seriously.

Then, like a fat kid on a school cross-coutnry run, we gave up on Smith. Where did the rumour come from? We’re not sure, but we reckon Tiger’s involved, so we’re investigating the Bermuda Thai-angle (h/t Keith Harris on Twitter for the inspiration).

Then just as we were microwaving our Ovaltine, suffering man-buns, Batman! Ricky ‘Retirement’ Holmes becomes Ricky ‘Mobile’ Holmes. After posting one of those insufferable Twitter statements about how sorry he was to be leaving Oxford due to his crippling injuries, Ricky Holmes has taken his carefully sculptured beard and gippy back to Gillingham on loan.

And that’s it. No wait. Rather like going to a U2 concert only for them to do an encore of ill-considered homophobic country classics, we close with a story of blank bemusement. Jonathan Mitchell, who left at the start of the month, has gone to Shrewsbury. It’s been that kind of window, I guess.

30 January: He’s not the Messiah…


It was fantasy transfer window signing day on Tuesday when Danny Hylton was suddenly floated by one website and a million ambulance chasing Twitter accounts claiming to have the ‘inside gossip on everything EFL’.

I know I’m not the only one who would willfully entrap Hylton in my basement, spend several hours rutting up against his bare thigh before flaying him from head to foot and smothering his entrails all over my naked torso, but calls for his return feel like a crowd appeasing populist move which can only end badly. But then, I’m still scarred by the Nigel Jemson’s second – eighteen games, no goals – spell with the club.

So, if Hylton isn’t the saviour; what about James Vaughan was also briefly floated as a possible signing from Wigan?

Meanwhile, up in the cold wastelands, ex-loanee, mini-goal grabber Conor McAleny, who ignored our advances to choose Fleetwood Town in 2017, has been slung over to Kilmarnock in the SPL to while away the remaining months of the season.

In, Oh, I Forgot About Him news; Newcastle striker Elias Sorensen signed for Blackpool last week having briefly been courted by KRob.

January 28: Barrel scraping news

You know when you’re expecting a phone call and the phone doesn’t ring; so you pick it up to test if it’s working? Well, that was last week’s frenzied transfer news, a week that was so devoid of anything, we thought the something terrible had happened, like David Kemp delivering Brexit, or something.

Everyone’s second favourite Martinez; Damian/Emiliano, whose record of conceding 3 goals for every Oxford United game he played in is only bettered by the doyenne of butterfingers goalkeeping; Mike Salmon, has gone to injection moulded plastics Reading on loan from Arsenal.

Nicky Wroe; briefly of this parish and purveyor of an absolute zinger away to Wycombe in 2014, has signed for Boston United from Bradford Park Avenue for a fee of four Wagon Wheels and an Etch-a-Sketch.

And finally, Callum O’Dowda, at one point this month a target for Leeds, which got him a contract extension, is being linked to a ‘host’ of Premier League clubs according to a new article in the Bristol Post. The Post don’t go as far as naming any of them, of course. We’re pretty certain that the source of this rumour isn’t O’Dowda’s agent agitating for a panic-buy move to the big leagues, because that’s the sort of thing they’ve never done before.

January 19: Holmes under the hammer

The only bit of transfer news coming out of Saturday’s game against Portsmouth was that Ricky Holmes, the only player whose fitness is measured in minutes, is going back to Sheffield United. While dumping the man-bun maverick, Robinson also left the door open for him to come back at some point in the season. ‘Even though we’re not lovers anymore, I’m sure we can still be friends.’ said Robinson, who was always hopeless at dumping his girlfriends.

As a little bonus, who doesn’t love a bit of Toni Martinez news? He’s gone on loan to Lugo after West Ham recalled from Rayo Majadahonda. We are led to believe these are both football clubs in Spain.

January 18: Norman’s conquest

Football fans are well known for their calm objectivity. The announcement that Cameron Norman had signed for Walsall was met with predictable circumspection. I think we can all agree that there has been an absolute barrage of calls for Norman to be returned to the team to arrest our alarming decline. Not on Twitter, it seems, Norman before the announcement there hadn’t been a single mention of Norman by any Oxford fan since the turn of the year.

Meanwhile, Sam Smith has taken his shooting boots and a bucketful of blanks to Shrewsbury after being signed by Sam Ricketts.

January 17: Bought for Kashi

You know when your mum texts you asking for your bank details so she can transfer your birthday money? And you know how the amount drops every year because she’s forgotten that you’re not nine anymore, that everything is more expensive than she thinks it is and that she’s forgotten how much she gave you last year?

And you know, that despite all this as soon as you get the text you start a process in your brain where the amount jumps by multiples of five with every passing minute until you convince yourself that for reasons that defy logic, she’s about to transfer at least £10,000 into your account.

And you know the feeling when you see the £25 in your bank serving no purpose but to make you fractionally less poor than you were just a few minutes previously? And that you make plans to buy a new pair of trainers knowing you’ll use it for Findus Crispy Pancakes, a four-pack of lager then put the rest towards the £45 you need for your mum’s birthday present next month?

You know that feeling?

Well, Oxford United’s much anticipated quest for a proven goalscorer ready to propel the club out of the relegation zone and on a collision course with an unlikely tilt at the play-offs took a thrilling turn with the signing of Troyes defensive midfielder Ahmed Kashi on loan.

In alumni news; when you’ve captained a Manchester United team and watched the players in your charge become international stars and when your achievements are eclipsed by someone with the same name as you, you know you’ll eventually find yourself at Swindon Town. The man they call ‘The Sexy Simon Clist’, Danny Rose, has rocked up at the County Ground following his release from Portsmouth.

January 15: Robin Raglan

With all the tax avoiding and cock dangling going down this week, Charlie Raglan skipped over the fence end at the Kassam and headed down the A40 to Cheltenham. There, he’ll spend his time battling to keep the Robins in the great noiseless vortex of nothingness they’ve have always existed in until the end of the season. What with the ongoing daily tasks of finding internet connectivity and clean water, it’s a pretty exciting challenge.

Leeds (or, to use their full name Why is it Always Leeds?) are apparently interested in taking Callum O’Dowda from Bristol City because they’re struggling to get a deal for Swansea’s Daniel James over the line. Always nice to know you’re second choice.

We live in hope that there’s a sell-on clause in the O’Dowda deal which took him to Bristol in 2016, or more specifically, HMRC live in hope there’s a sell-on clause.

Meanwhile, we’ve made an enquiry about Elias Sorensen, a free scoring Under 23 from Sports Direct’s Newcastle United. Karl Robinson only went in for a pair of British Knights high-tops and a pair of Lonsdale tracksuit trousers.

January 14: One, two, three, four…

Toni Martinez, Toonii Martinez, Toni Martinezzzz Toni Martinezzzzz

What. A. Tune.

We’re not sure what’s happening to the fondly remembered loanee and hero of That Minute at Middlesborough, but we do have news of namesake Emiliano Martinez.

Who? You might justifiably say. Well, according to the Oxford United dementia sufferers’ best friend, Rage Online, Emiliano (or Damian, as he was known back then) spent 90 minutes on loan at the end of the 2012 season when he conceded three at Port Vale.

The man who puts the ‘eh?’ in L-eh?-gend is being considered for a loan move from Arsenal to Leeds.

January 11: Marginal news

The sword of Damocles hangs over Ivo Pekalski. Last week KRob donned a black hood, stripped to the waste and slathered grease over his curvaceous moobs threatening the Swede with ‘lots of running’ if he didn’t find a new club by Tuesday.

Well, it’s run time baby! No deal has been forthcoming although this website revealed he’s been training with Swedish League 1 side Lund.

Meanwhile, Charlie Raglan, who has been stuck in a box labelled ‘Never did much wrong – ignore anyway’ for the best part of two years is set to leave to make way for an unknown defensive midfielder.

January 11: Deal done!

In What The Actual Fudge? news, it turns out we’ve paid a handsome 5-figure sum for a player. Nice one KRob and Ti-Grrr!

So, is it a proven League One striker?

Well, no.

Which team does he play for?

Um. Oxford United.

Wait, WHAT? Is it one of those ‘triggering a clause in his contract because of appearances things’? How many games has he played for us?


Riiight, we’ve paid five figures for our own player who hasn’t played any games?

OK, FIFA – that’s F.I.To The Flippin’.A. have judged that we should pay a compensation fee to Peterhead for the development of Fiacre Kelleher who we signed not from Peterhead, of course, but from Celtic. No, I don’t know either.

Kelleher is most famous at Oxford for being the player whose publicity photo became an analogy of the club’s silence over rumours that Michael Appleton was leaving in 2017. Since then he’s played for Solihull Moors and is currently on loan, along with every other Oxford player you’d forgotten about, at Macclesfield

7 January: Sam Surridge on the radar

Karl Robinson loves nothing more on Sundays than roasting a lump of meat and 10 vegetables; not unlike his Saturdays. He sacrificed it all this weekend to watch Cottagers exposing themselves in front of disbelieving onlookers in West London. Kinky.

‘Karl, what were you doing at Fulham?’ asked a hack with a line of questioning so crafty it could have spent the afternoon fashioning a full-sized Jamie Mackie out of macramé.

Robinson confirmed he was looking at Oldham’s goalscorer Sam Surridge, who is on loan from Bournemouth. Or was, until he was recalled this afternoon.

Robinson sees Surridge as an obvious replacement for Sam Smith, just with more goals. And shots. And touches of the ball. More importantly, he can use Smith’s monographed training kit; it’s not like it ever got dirty.

4 January: Ivo given the heave-ho

Karl Robinson has given Ivo Pekalski until 8 January to find a new club. He’s had a nightmare since Pep Clotet signed him. You might argue that as he spent Christmas in Sweden rather than in a futile fight for first team football given half the chance he would happily to leave by Tuesday, if not before. Robbo’s punishment for not achieving what everyone wants is for Ivo to listen to Charlie Pride’s Crystal Chandeliers on a loop while receiving Chinese burns from Faz. No, sorry, misread that, the consequence for the professional athlete trying to regain his fitness is ‘lots of running’. Talk about bringing a sponge to a knife fight.

Little Armani Little and more-than-little Harvey Bradbury have gone back to Woking on loan. Malachi Napa, Karl Robinson’s ‘future of the club’, has returned from his loan spell with Macclesfield. Major news for those of us who didn’t know he was on loan at Macclesfield.

Oh, and Jake Wright, currently out injured at Sheffield United, isn’t going to Scunthorpe because he’s currently out injured at Sheffield United.

4 January: Carroll to Swindon

Canice Carroll, who joined Brentford in the summer, has gone on loan to plucky defeat monkeys Swindon Town. Carroll’s key role at Oxford was as a substitute providing good luck fist bumps to players at half-time. Swindon, looking to solidify their relegation credentials, could do with a bit of that.

3 January: McMahon to Scunthorpe

Tony McMahon has gone to Scunthorpe on loan. The Iron are making a decent fist of avoiding relegation also signing Adam Hammill – our nemesis in the JPT Final in 2016. While the McMahon move comes as no surprise, prepare yourself for a tsunami of criticism if they also confirm the signing of Jake Wright in the next few days.

1 January: Mitchell goes home

Our subs’ bench has been replaced with a trestle table table as the yard sale of the squad continues. Jonathan Mitchell, who came in as emergency cover for Simon Eastwood in August is going back to Frank ‘Lamps’ Lampard at Derby. Meanwhile, Jack Payne must have been a cat burglar in a previous life – he sees an open window and moves. The ex-Oxford assist-sausage is currently on loan at Bradford from Huddersfield, but is being linked with yet another move, this time to Luton or Peterborough.

1 January: Mark Sykes signs from Glenavon

Glenavon in the Irish Premier League have announced that we’ve signed their midfielder Mark Sykes who has played with Gavin Whyte in the Irish Under 21s. It seems he was heading for Port Vale, but, reassuringly we managed to outbid them. All this is subject to a medical and personal terms, whatever that actually means.

1 January: Jake Wright on the move?

More promotion squad alumni news; Jake ‘Jakey Wright, Wright, Wright’ Wright, captain of our promotion winning team in 2016 and more importantly voted Best Player of the First Ten Years of Oxblogger, has been linked with a move to Scunthorpe or Doncaster or Fleetwood, or maybe Barnsley. Which clears that up.

31 December: Kemar Roofe to Newcastle?

Not really related, but according to The Mirror Kemar Roofe has been targeted by Newcastle United. Whether Roofe will want to go from Leeds, who are top of the Championship and heading for promotion, to Newcastle, who are towards the bottom of the Premier League and maybe heading the other way, will depend on money, no doubt. I can’t find any references to sell-on fees we might be due, so it’s probably best to assume we’re not due a windfall.

29 December: Smith and McMahon to leave

A surprise to nobody is that Sam Smith is going back to Reading. Karl Robinson’s prize signing of the summer hasn’t really worked out, scoring a handful of goals in the Trophy that shall not be named, but little else. Tony McMahon, who has weighed in with a few assists here and there is heading back up north for personal reasons.

26 December: Jordan Graham on loan from Wolves

He’s been training with us for weeks, so nobody was shocked by Tiger’s ‘Christmas present’ announcing the signing of Jordan Graham on loan from Wolves. Graham had a brief spell with us in our promotion season, showing himself to be a classic Michael Appleton player. Since then, however, he’s managed just seven appearances in nearly four years due to injury. He could be the signing of the season or we may need to move Ricky Holmes on to make space in the physio’s room.