OXFORD United are prepared to work until the final minutes of the transfer deadline tonight to clinch their top target.

An experienced striker has been on the club’s radar for some time as they look to add strength in depth up front.

Caretaker manager Mickey Lewis has alternatives waiting in the wings, but will be doing everything he can today to get the deal over the line before 11pm.

This time last year goalkeeper Luke McCormick signed moments before the window shut and Lewis admitted it could be a similar story tonight.

“Very possibly,” he said. “There’s always stumbling blocks with these things and hopefully we’ll get someone in. We are trying our utmost.

“There’s definitely one we’re trying to get and there’s another couple of possibilities.

“At one stage it was 70/30 in our favour, then it went 30/70 the other way, and now it’s 50/50.

“It’s someone who has real good quality. It’s not a youngster, it’s an experienced player – someone who knows this level, but has played higher.”

The ground work was done before Chris Wilder resigned last weekend.

His first signing at Northampton Town yesterday was also a striker, with Alan Connell joining from Bradford City, but Lewis said the 30-year-old had not been a target for United.

One certainty is the club are not looking for defensive cover.

There was concern on Tuesday when Michael Raynes came off in the goalless draw at Exeter City with a hip injury.

It came just days after Jake Wright suffered a deep cut, which will keep the centre back out for at least a month.

But while Raynes is set to miss tomorrow’s home game against AFC Wimbledon, the defender is not expected to be out for long.

Lewis said: “Raynesy’s still in pain, but is miles better than he was, so we’ll see over the weekend how it improves.

“You don’t know what’s ahead, but we’re OK for this weekend.”