A striker who has earned international recognition with England’s youth sides is poised to join Oxford United today.
Adding firepower has been a priority for Michael Appleton since taking over as head coach last month and the search looks to have finally delivered.
After agreeing a loan deal in principle over the weekend, the head coach is optimistic of wrapping up the move for the highly-rated youngster, believed to be from a Championship club.
He said: “I’d like to think the young man we’re going to bring in will give us that little extra at the top of the pitch and become a little bit of a focal point.
“He’s been well recognised by some of the England teams as well. We are excited to get him on board.
“I don’t want to give it the kiss of death which is why I’m very cautious about it.
“But I fully expect him to be in the building on Monday morning.
“Things have been agreed verbally and we expect him to be in.”
United’s need for more options in the final third was again shown on Saturday as they lost 4-1 at home to Bournemouth.
The exception was a wonderful finish from Danny Rose midway through the first half, which equalised Junior Stanislas’s free-kick.
The midfielder said: “We won the ball quite high up the pitch, which was quite pleasing because it’s something we’ve been working on.
“I managed to skip past one defender and found myself one-versus-one.
“I had a look to the right and didn’t think there was really much on, so instinctively I just dinked it over the keeper and thankfully it came off.”
Callum Wilson struck twice late on to complete his hat-trick and make it 4-1, which was harsh on the home side in their final action before the season begins this Saturday.
But Appleton, whose side lost 1-0 to Wolves last Tuesday, was not too concerned.
He said: “For an hour or so I was more than happy.
“We had to make a few changes due to fatigue and players not having their minutes.
“It went a little bit after that and I felt desperately for the players for the last couple of goals, because they didn’t deserve that, but these things happen.”
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest Sport news
12:30pm Monday 5th October 2015
LIAM Sercombe declared he is having the time of his footballing life at Oxford United after scoring two late goals in a 3-1 victory at Accrington Stanley.
11:59am Monday 5th October 2015
Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters.
8:30am Monday 5th October 2015
MICHAEL Appleton hailed an “almost perfect” week as Oxford United added a 3-1 win at Accrington Stanley to their midweek victory at York City.
8:10am Monday 5th October 2015
JUSTIN Merritt hailed Oxford City after their 4-0 win at Chelmsford City in Vanarama National League South.
8:00am Monday 5th October 2015
Abingdon United extended their goalless run to three gameswhen they lost 4-0 away to Binfield in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division on Saturday.
7:30am Monday 5th October 2015
OXFORD United’s clinical edge in the final third was key to their victory, according to beaten Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman.
7:00am Monday 5th October 2015
A superb first-half hat-trick by Morgan Williams gave North Leigh a 4-2 victory away to Bishops Cleeve in the preliminary round of the FA Trophy on Saturday.
7:00am Monday 5th October 2015
Dominant Oxford City hit four second-half goals at Chelmsford City to strengthen their hold on second place in Vanarama National League South with a 4-0 win.
12:00pm Sunday 4th October 2015
SEE the key moments as Oxford United won for the second time on the road in the space of five days with a 3-1 success at Accrington Stanley.
4:57pm Saturday 3rd October 2015
LIAM Sercombe scored twice in the final 11 minutes to give Oxford United their second away victory in five days.