OXFORD United would turn down a £1m offer for Kemar Roofe in the January transfer window if it harmed the club’s promotion chances, says chairman Darryl Eales.

The form of several U’s players this season has led to speculation linking them with clubs in the Premier League and Sky Bet Championship.

No formal bids have been made, but top scorer Roofe, who has 18 goals in his last 31 appearances, is one in the spotlight, with Newcastle United among the clubs said to be keeping tabs on the forward.

As part of an interview with Eales where the Oxford Mail put questions from supporters, he was asked if Roofe would be sold if the fee was right.

In response, the U’s chief revealed the approach to any bids would rest on a discussion with head coach Michael Appleton – with football rather than finances taking priority.

Eales said: “On player sales, the route I have agreed with Michael is if we had an offer for a player, the first decision would be on the football season.

“If an offer came in for person X, I would want Michael to give me his view.

“If the answer is ‘yes’ then I’d sell him.

“The question Michael would ask is how much of the fee would he get to strengthen the squad.

“If someone comes in for Kemar Roofe and says ‘here’s a million quid’ I think my instinctive response would be ‘I don’t want to sell him’.

“If they come in at £10m I would need a pretty good argument from Michael as to why he wouldn’t take that.

“I think he’d say if we could reinvest a sizeable portion of that in strengthening the squad then that’s the best thing to do.

“It’s a mature conversation between Michael and myself about what’s in the best interests of the club.

“That might be a bit of financial stability, but the over-arching thing is will this strengthen the squad?”

Many supporters will have their fingers crossed no bids come in during the window.

By contrast, Eales views the increasing number of scouts now attending United games as a sign the club is moving in the right direction.

He said: “The good news is there are probably four or five players that are attracting attention and that’s a positive problem to have.

“I can deal with problems like that all day long, especially compared to 12 months ago.

“It needs to be the football side driving the debate, not the financial side.”