OXFORD United boss Michael Appleton admits he was disappointed to find out they had missed out on signing Matty Taylor.

The 26-year-old, released by Oxford United as a teenager in 2009, was high on the head coach’s wish-list as a replacement for Kemar Roofe.

But Taylor, who bagged 28 goals in 50 appearances to help fire Bristol Rovers to automatic promotion alongside the U’s last season, has this afternoon signed a new contract with the Pirates.

United met with him late last week and were confident they had agreed a deal in principle, but negotiations stalled and the plug was finally pulled on the move earlier today.

Appleton said: "Without speaking too much out of turn I did think we had shaken hands on an agreement.

"But I'm being told by his representative that he hasn't got a desire to play for his hometown club."

It is a blow to a side which has also lost Callum O’Dowda this week, but Taylor was not the only frontman the U’s have been chasing and talks go on with other targets.