THIS week, the two biggest stories surrounding Oxford United have been a proposed new stadium and a transfer link with a former England striker.

No, really.

A fortnight ago, that sentence would have sounded fairly implausible and even now it feels a little surreal.

United could miss out on both Stratfield Brake and Jermain Defoe, although we will know about one much sooner than the other.

But it surely says something about the club’s ambition.

Read also: Karl Robinson asked about Jermain Defoe links

Some historically bigger clubs than United are reportedly competing for Defoe, some of whom have past links with the striker.

Despite this, the U’s are still very much in the conversation and reports that they held talks with the veteran on Wednesday are understood to be accurate.

Yes, Defoe has only played twice this season and yes, he is 40 in October, but it would take a brave man to bet against him delivering in Sky Bet League One

Meanwhile, the stadium plans hit a setback this week, but Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet was certainly receptive to United’s proposal.

Read also: Decision on Oxford United stadium site is deferred

The only speaker who was strongly against the plan on Tuesday was resident John Hill, who used some questionable lines of argument.

Meanwhile, councillors appeared to be generally 'cautiously optimistic' or 'cautiously neutral'.

One thing in the U’s favour is that this is not just about a new ground, but a world-class facility that the community can benefit from.

This would not just secure the club's future, but boost the local area at the same time.

It shows a desire to aim high off the pitch as well as on it, which could make the coming years very exciting.