OXFORD United would be among the front runners to sign Marcus Browne if the forward is loaned out by Middlesbrough, reckons Karl Robinson.

Boro boss Neil Warnock has suggested the 22-year-old, who has had two spells with the U’s, could leave temporarily to get more game time.

Browne has featured three times for the Sky Bet Championship club this season and scored against Bournemouth in his one league appearance.

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Although Warnock sees the ex-West Ham United man’s long-term future at the club, the veteran told BBC Radio Tees he would loan him out ‘in an ideal world’.

And Robinson – who this summer admitted Browne was on his transfer wish-list – did not rule out an attempt to bring him back for a third time.

The U’s head coach said: “We’ll bang the drum as loud as anybody if he’s available.

“If he’s wanted by Neil and Middlesbrough, Marcus is a wonderful player and I’d never get in the way of his development at a higher level.

“But if he becomes available, I’d like to think that we’d be a very strong choice for him.

“I think he could be one of the final pieces in this jigsaw moving forward.”

Robinson first brought Browne to United on a season-long loan from West Ham in 2018/19, when he scored nine goals in 44 appearances.

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After the deal ended the U’s made an offer to buy the youngster, but he opted for Middlesbrough.

Browne played 14 times before returning to the Kassam Stadium in January, netting five goals in 16 games to help the U’s reach the Sky Bet League One play-off final.

Although out of favour under previous Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate, the forward featured regularly in pre-season and Warnock’s assistant Kevin Blackwell said after his goal against Bournemouth that he ‘definitely had a part to play’.

But he has not played since and Robinson, who is keen to sign a left winger, believes Browne would fit the bill.

He said: “If we brought anybody in of that calibre I think we could be as strong as last year, probably stronger with Sam Winnall in the building.

“I’d be a very happy man moving into the winter months.

“My dream would be to have someone of that ilk that we can take on loan, get promoted together and build a football club around that special talent.

“That’s not just Marcus, that’s anyone we look to bring in as a loan player.

“Hopefully we can find the player we need sooner rather than later and have a great rest of the season.”

The international transfer window closes tonight, but United can do domestic deals until next Friday.

Robinson added: “We’re trying to bring in another midfield player and hopefully another wide left player in the next seven days.

“From my point of view we’ll certainly have a team that we feel can be ultra competitive.”