IT came in three parts, but we finally know Oxford United’s retained list.

The exits of Sam Winnall, Jamie Hanson, Leon Chambers-Parillon and Michael Elechi were confirmed a fortnight ago, before Sam Baldock’s new contract was announced on Monday – as was Mark Sykes’ exit to Bristol City.

Now, the options in the deals of James Henry and Elliott Moore have been triggered, while Billy Bodin, Alex Gorrin and Slavi Spasov have been offered fresh terms.

READ MORE: Oxford United confirm contract decisions for four key players

Most U’s fans would have guessed those decisions, for the first-team players at least, and it is a relief Sykes’ departure did not drag on any longer.

It was a similar situation with Josh Ruffels last summer and the left back's expected exit to Huddersfield Town was not finalised until June 10.

Gorrin and Bodin’s futures will not be assured until they sign new deals, but United have known their plan for the duo for some time.

That will not stop the speculation and the Spanish midfielder has been linked with plenty of clubs in recent weeks, although most of that appears to be nothing more than rumours.

The importance of retaining Gorrin should not be underestimated, as United arguably already need another defensive midfielder. One is hard enough to come by.

There have been positive noises about Bodin signing his deal and the attacking midfielder is in a similar boat to Sam Baldock, with his fitness over the course of the season the only question mark against him.

READ MORE: All the League One retained lists

If all four senior players stay, it gives United a first-team squad of 18. That is very healthy at this stage of the summer, although reinforcements in defence and in wide areas are a must.

Compare it to this time last year, though, when the U’s still had to go to Blackpool for their play-off semi-final second leg.

United’s preparations for next season ramped up in the final week of April, so it would not be surprising if they are significantly ahead of where they were 12 months ago.

There will be setbacks, but it feels like the U's are in a promising position.