OXFORD United’s long pursuit of Chris Cadden could finally be ended today.

The Oxford Mail understands the final paperwork on a complex double transfer may clear in time for the Scotland international to feature against Fulham tonight.

It is a month since boss Karl Robinson confirmed a bid for the 22-year-old had been accepted by Motherwell.

But while they lost out to Columbus Crew over a permanent move, the MLS side appear intent on loaning him to United.

The complicated nature of the deal, which has been further held up by negotiations about compensation between Motherwell and Columbus, explains the delay.

But it is thought the remaining formalities will be signed off at some stage today.

Having Cadden on board to face Fulham at the Kassam Stadium (7.45) would be a boost, for both player and club.

The right back, who can also play further up the flank or in central midfield, has been in limbo during pre-season, unable to play while the transfer was agreed.

With only Saturday’s trip to Solihull Moors left in terms of first team friendly matches after tonight, time is running out to sharpen up before the season starts on August 3.

The U’s could also do with an extra body, as their attempts to strengthen elsewhere continue without a conclusion.

And Robinson admitted he has some difficult decisions to make on whether to play the likes of Jamie Mackie, Gavin Whyte and Rob Hall, given the lack of back-up if minor niggles are made worse.

“We’re frustrated a little bit,” he told the club’s website.

“We’ll have to wait and see who we have available, .

“They’re all training, but while we have such low numbers right now I can’t afford to risk anybody.

“Tackles can go in during a pre-season game that you don’t necessarily need.

“We’re a bit light on numbers, but we’re looking forward to the game.”

United’s biggest area of concern is up front, where Malachi Napa was deployed as a makeshift striker during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to QPR.

Robinson said: “The young man’s attitude is fantastic.

“(But) it just shows you where he is lacking – playing up there on his own is difficult for a man of that size.

“He gives you all the endeavour in the world, but he’s not the man to lead the line for us.

“It’s not right that we are even asking him to lead the line for us, but it is what it is at this moment in time.”

Meanwhile, United’s Women have announced Paris Sercombe and Evie Gane will return to be part of the squad this season.