MARVIN Johnson has been strongly linked with a move from Oxford United to Middlesbrough before tomorrrow's transfer deadline.

The Northern Echo this morning reported a deal worth £2.5million with £500,000 in add-ons is close to being completed.

There has been speculation surrounding the winger, who signed for the U's from Motherwell on deadline day in August last year, for several weeks.

United have stressed only an "unbelievable offer" would change their minds that Johnson is not for sale, turning down a bid from Hull City, believed to be in the region of £1m, earlier this month.

But the 26-year-old has not been included in the matchday squad since the 3-0 win against Portsmouth on August 12.

He was initially ruled out with a tight hamstring, but manager Pep Clotet reported last week Johnson had returned to training.

However, he has missed two more games since.

After last night's 6-2 win at Stevenage, United's assistant head coach Derek Fazackerley was asked if anything had changed in Johnson's situation.

He said: "Not to my knowledge, but there’s so much going on at the moment these things can happen.

"At the end of the day we can only play with the players who are available.

"He’s not trained properly for two weeks now.

"If players aren’t training properly you’re not going to put them in the starting XI."