CALLUM O’Dowda has made a plea to his friends and Twitter followers not to mention transfer speculation this month to allow him to focus purely on delivering for Oxford United.
The 20-year-old is among several U’s players linked with Premier League and Sky Bet Championship clubs in the past few weeks.
And after the winger scored a dramatic late goal in Saturday’s 4-2 win at Notts County, the rumour mill has kicked in again with one national newspaper reporting the U’s have told Derby County they want £1m.
O’Dowda, who now has six goals for club and country this season, has been determined all along to block out the stories, although it is easier said than done.
And the Republic of Ireland Under 21 international has a simple message for everyone around him.
He said: “Just leave it to one side for the moment and let me focus on my football.
“I just try to stay away from stuff on my phone.
“I just try to put it to one side, but obviously you do hear about it.
“It doesn’t affect my performances, I just try to focus on what I’m doing at the moment.”
Head coach Michael Appleton told the Oxford Mail yesterday no formal offer had been received for any of his players.
Even if a bid is made for one of United’s star players, the club’s stance this month could not be clearer.
Appleton said: “People can make offers for players until they’re blue in the face, but ultimately you’ve got to want to sell that player.
“You can’t ever say someone isn’t for sale because money talks.
“Sometimes people can make an offer that you can’t turn down.
“(It would have to be) way above the expectations of what we thought a player was worth.
“If that happens then good luck to them.
“Until we get an official approach then I just laugh at what I read.
“Then again, if that is the case then it’s going to have to be something that blows us out of the water.”
O’Dowda’s immediate priority is earning a place in the U’s side for Sunday’s eagerly-anticipated Emirates FA Cup tie against Swansea City.
He said: “Obviously the league is more important, but it’s a real test to show what you’re made of playing against Premier League players.”