Oxford United to hold talks with out-of-contract players

Oxford United have a one-year extension option on Alfie Potter

Oxford United have a one-year extension option on Alfie Potter

First published in U's News Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

OXFORD United intend to open contract negotiations in the next few weeks as they look to tie down key players to new deals before the end of the season.

There are 16 players, or two-thirds of the first-team squad, whose contracts are due to expire at the end of the season.

Although the club have options to invoke one-year extensions on some of the group, including Alfie Potter, a high proportion of players are facing uncertainty.

In recent years, the U’s have offered extensions to important players well before the end of their deals.

No talks have taken place with players so far, but United chairman Ian Lenagan is expecting to make progress shortly.

He said: “It’s an important arena. It’s not something we’ve finalised yet, but we will be doing so over the next four to six weeks.

“Absolutely, there are some people that you clearly want to keep and we want them because we believe they can take Oxford United up the divisions. It’s important to keep them.”

He added: “We have a strong idea of what the future make-up of the Oxford team is, and my principle is sign people up who you judge to be good enough to go forward with the club, and sign them up for a considerable period of time.”

Lenagan explained the lack of negotiation so far this season had not been by design.

Instead, other matters have taken priority, such as more short-term personnel issues during the side’s struggle for form earlier in the season.

He said: “We have been somewhat pre-occupied with bailing out an injured ship. “Secondly, in juggling the signing of players. It’s been very difficult over the last two to three months.

“Decisions like whether to let Lee Cox and Forster-Caskey go back and how you supplement the team with other people when you’re juggling injuries up front.”

United’s out-of-contract players.

Damian Batt, Tony Capaldi, Tom Craddock, Max Crocombe, Liam Davis, Michael Duberry, Simon Heslop, Peter Leven, Tyrone Marsh, Luke O’Brien, Josh Parker, Jon-Paul Pittman, Alfie Potter, Deane Smalley, Andy Whing, Harry Worley.

Comments (3)

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9:24am Thu 31 Jan 13

BigAlBiker says...

I'd keep Batt, Craddock, Crocombe, Davis, Duberry, Leven, Marsh, Potter and Whing.

The rest would be thanks for your time but we must improve.
I'd keep Batt, Craddock, Crocombe, Davis, Duberry, Leven, Marsh, Potter and Whing. The rest would be thanks for your time but we must improve. BigAlBiker
  • Score: 0

9:40am Thu 31 Jan 13

GRB says...

I predict: Batt (new deal offered), Capaldi (released), Craddock (new deal offered), Crocombe (new deal offered), Davis (50/50), Dubes (extra year offered), Heslop (released), Leven (released, too expensive), Marsh (released), O'Brien (50/50), Whing (new deal offered), Potter (deal extended), Parker, Pittman, Smalley and Worley all released.
I predict: Batt (new deal offered), Capaldi (released), Craddock (new deal offered), Crocombe (new deal offered), Davis (50/50), Dubes (extra year offered), Heslop (released), Leven (released, too expensive), Marsh (released), O'Brien (50/50), Whing (new deal offered), Potter (deal extended), Parker, Pittman, Smalley and Worley all released. GRB
  • Score: 0

1:46pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Manor Born says...

Expect to see Leven returning to his native Scotland at the end of his contract. Most likely destination Rangers...
Expect to see Leven returning to his native Scotland at the end of his contract. Most likely destination Rangers... Manor Born
  • Score: 0

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