MATT Paterson has been given until the start of next week to decide whether to accept a contract offer from Oxford City.

The striker, who has played in the Football League for Southampton, Southend United and Burton Albion, enjoyed a terrific first campaign at Marsh Lane.

His 26 goals in all competitions, included the winner against Colchester United in the Emirates FA Cup and another in the second round defeat at Notts County.

While City were quick to table a new contract offer, they are well aware the haul alerted a host of interested clubs.

The 28-year-old, who has been away on his stag do this week, has been given time to mull over his options, but boss Mark Jones now wants an answer.

He said: “Matt had a great season with 26 goals in all competitions and that type of record will catch the eye.

“We’ve offered Matt the best deal we possibly could, but we understand he’s got other options and he wanted to sound those out.

“We have been patient and understanding as a club.

“I’ve spoken to him several times and we have asked him to give us a decision by Monday or Tuesday next week.

“We need some clarity in the next few days.

“If he doesn’t want to sign, I need to look at other options.”

City have made good progress elsewhere, with Josh Ashby signing a one-year deal following his release by Oxford United.

Deals for a striker and a left back are expected to be finalised next week after the pair agreed to join in principle.

Jones is pleased with the business done so far, but is keen to keep some space in the squad open for later in the summer.

He said: “I don’t want to get into a situation where we have 18 players signed before pre-season because others will become available.”

Aside from a friendly with the U’s, the pick of the pre-season games is a visit from a full-strength Luton Town on July 17.

Jones said: “We have managed to get a nice relationship with them.

“My assistant Joe Deeney worked there for a long time and we brought in Frankie Musonda on loan from there last season.

“I think they were really pleased with the way we looked after him and are happy to work with us.

“That could be a good thing for us.”