OXFORD United have signed forward Mark Harris following his exit from Sky Bet Championship side Cardiff City.

The Bluebirds announced on June 9 that an offer had been made to out of contract Harris, however 21 days later, the club confirmed that he would be leaving after no deal was struck.

The U’s have reportedly beaten interest from League One rivals Blackpool to the signature of the 24-year-old, who has five caps for Wales, on a ‘long-term deal’.

League One transfer tracker: All the deals in the third tier

Harris, who can play out wide or through the middle, leaves Cardiff after scoring 10 goals in 95 appearances across all competitions. Fifty-two of those games were as a substitute though.

Last season, he netted three times in 38 matches, with those strikes including winners in 1-0 victories against Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland.

The Cardiff academy graduate also had loan spells with Newport County, Port Vale and Wrexham during his time in the Welsh capital.

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Harris, who was sporting the number nine on his training top in United’s announcement of his signing, told the club website: “It’s great to get everything sorted and I’m looking forward to it.

“The manager told me all about the plans the club has and the way they want to play to get there.

“His style of football is going to really suit me. I enjoyed my time at Cardiff, but this is a chance to make a new start and show what I can do, playing in what we all hope will be a very successful side.”

U’s head coach Liam Manning added: “As with all of our signings this summer, Mark has a fantastic attitude and outstanding ability.

“Technically he is very good, he is fast, he creates and scores goal and he is a player I know a lot of clubs were interested in. Signing a full international with his best years ahead of him is a big thing for us.”

Harris was part of the 26-man Wales squad which went to last year’s World Cup in Qatar, however he failed to make an appearance as Rob Page’s side finished bottom of Group B, behind England, USA and Iran.

United’s head of recruitment, Ed Waldron, said: “He is a player who has been on our radar for at least three years and to bring him here on a permanent long-term deal is a big positive for us.

“He has an outstanding pedigree, the experience of playing at a higher level and being involved in a World Cup, and we believe that the skills that he has perfectly compliment the players we already have in the building.”

Harris follows Ruben Rodrigues, Jordan Thorniley, Josh McEachran, James Beadle and Fin Stevens through the door at the U’s this summer.

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About the author

To sign up to Liam’s latest Oxford United newsletter for free, click here: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/newsletters/

Formerly the politics reporter for the Oxford Mail, Liam now covers all things Oxford United.

Liam attends the U’s home and away, as well as covering other big sports stories across the county.

His Oxford United newsletter is released every Saturday morning at 6am.