I CANNOT be the only one who sighed when I saw the first transfer rumours of the summer materialise this week.

It is not even May and reports of interest in Elliott Moore and Cameron Brannagan are already circulating. There will be plenty more of those in the coming months.

Maybe it is a result of covering Oxford United, as three years of promotion near-misses means players are always linked with higher-division clubs.

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Some sources are more reliable than others, so you cannot believe everything you read ā€“ although it can be easier to get duped than you might expect.

Past summers tell us United are unlikely to get to September without losing at least one key player, either because they are out of contract or go for a fee.

But the Uā€™s know where they are likely to be light and have planned accordingly.

Not many clubs cope with the exits of key players year-on-year and United seem to have found a formula.

They lost Gavin Whyte, Shandon Baptiste and Tariqe Fosu over the course of 2019/20, but still reached the play-off final.

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Rob Dickie went in summer 2020 and the U's again finished in the top six, albeit after a poor start.

Last summer, United lost half of their first-choice back four in the shape of Rob Atkinson and Josh Ruffels. They fell short of the play-offs, but have amassed a points total that would be enough most seasons.

That will not stop the rumours swirling, but past experience will hopefully reassure fans when players are linked with moves elsewhere.