OXFORD United's hopes of securing a return for Chris Maguire rest on whether parent club Rotherham United are prepared to do business.

The forward, who turned 27 on Saturday, is back with the Millers after his loan expired following the 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers.

It was the ninth start of his spell and while Maguire scored just once, his performances helped the U's make progress in three competitions.

The Scotland international, who is out of contract in the summer, has fallen down the pecking order at Rotherham since Neil Redfearn took over in October and is understood to be keen on a return to the Kassam Stadium.

But U's boss Michael Appleton says the chances of a deal – either a loan for the rest of the season or a permanent move following the termination of his contract – depends on conversations in Yorkshire.

He said: "We certainly would like to do something and I know Chris, having spoken to him on Saturday, would love to stay.

"But it's now down to him, his representatives and Rotherham.

"The frustrating thing from Chris's point of view is he's in a bit of limbo.

"I know he would prefer to get some sort of settlement.

"Whether Rotherham are prepared to do that or not, we'll have to wait and see."

He added: "The last half a dozen games you've seen his fitness levels are where they should be.

"From our point of view we're delighted with his contribution and hopefully he can contribute a little bit more."

While United wait on an answer from Rotherham, they are seeking an extra attacking option during the January transfer window.

With 18 goals, top scorer Kemar Roofe has more than the rest of the squad's forwards put together – Danny Hylton, Patrick Hoban and Ryan Taylor contributing 15.

Taylor limped off on Sunday with a recurrence of his groin injury, which will only increase the need for more firepower.

United have been linked with Exeter City's David Wheeler, but the prospect of any deals in the next couple of days are unlikely.

Appleton said: "If we're going to bring players in we want to bring them on this journey with us rather than short-term fixes.

"There are still a couple of weeks left before we need to do business.

"We don't want to leave it to the last minute and hopefully it won't be, but we won't be rushing to do something."

He added: "You need to score goals to win games.

"We conceded two against Rovers but our defence is pretty sound and in the top two in the division.

"Certainly I'd like us to finish off one or two more of the opportunities we're creating."