ONE of the benefits of being embedded with Oxford United on pre-season tours is getting a front-row seat for transfers.

At home it is normally a fairly smooth process for us.

We typically have a couple of hours’ notice to arrange a photographer and get up to the Kassam Stadium to meet the new signing.

On tour it is all a bit different, as those of you following our online coverage on Thursday will know.

The privileged view comes with the condition we can be trusted to hang on to confidential information.

At 8am it looked a certainty Dwight Tiendalli’s move would be done and dusted by mid-afternoon. But by 1pm, delays appeared to push that back until the weekend.

Accordingly, an alternative story was filed and the back page put together in Oxford.

It had just been completed when United’s press officer, Chris Williams, burst back into our apartment: “Change of plan, it’s happening now."

It’s probably best not to print our reply, or that of my sports editor when he discovered the very attractive back page just designed was to be scrapped.

You cannot beat breaking news, though, and fans love a signing, so it’s time for Plan B.

We are fairly confident that is the last deal to be done while United in Portugal, but when it comes to transfers nothing is definite until the contract is inked – so watch this space.

And before you ask, no, we haven’t seen Chris Maguire.