DANNY Hylton and Chris Maguire have been offered new deals at Oxford United.

But Johnny Mullins, who captained the side in their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final at Wembley this season, is the highest-profile of five players told they can leave.

The club’s retained list, released today, sees the U’s activate extensions to keep midfielder Josh Ruffels and goalkeeper Benji Buchel.

But defender Mullins is joined by forwards Jordan Bowery and Patrick Hoban, as well as youngsters AJ George and Freddie Grant in exiting the club.

Head coach Michael Appleton thanked the departing five for the efforts.

“Freddie and AJ are both great lads who I’m sure will bounce back from the disappointment and look to prove us wrong,” he said.

“Pat and Jordan both played parts in our promotion and we wish them well for the future.

“Johnny Mullins is a fantastic professional and been a wonderful servant to the club.

“But with the emergence of Chey Dunkley, there is no guarantee that he will start each week.

“The door is not completely closed, but we have been very up front with each other and he is now able to go and talk to clubs this summer and see what is out there.”

Forwards Hylton and Maguire both starred in the run-in as the U’s secured promotion into Sky Bet League One.

Hylton, who has won the supporters’ player-of-the-year award for the last two seasons, has scored 30 goals in his 91 appearances for United.

And Maguire netted four times in the final six games after joining Oxford on a short-term deal after his release by Rotherham in January.

Both met with Appleton last week to discuss new contracts.

Ruffels and Buchel proved valuable members of the squad, making 53 appearances between them in the campaign.

However, Mullins is the big-name departure.

The defender joined United on a three-year contract from Rotherham for an undisclosed fee in 2013, having enjoyed a loan spell at the Kassam Stadium a season earlier.

The 30-year-old has made 149 appearances, scoring nine times, and during 50 starts this season, led the team out at Wembley before their 3-2 to defeat at the hands of Barnsley.

Bowery scored seven times for the U’s since joining in January, including the winner in a 1-0 win at Portsmouth on debut.

Hoban came to Oxford in November 2014 with a big reputation after scoring 34 times in 60 appearances for Dundalk.

But he managed to find the net only six times in 53 appearances for the U’s.