OXFORD United’s six-week pursuit of Marvin Johnson ended with the Motherwell winger putting pen-to-paper with less than three hours of the transfer window remaining.

The 25-year-old signed a three-year deal after the U’s agreed to pay what is believed to be a club record fee.

The transfer was undisclosed, but is thought to have exceeded the £470,000 paid for Dean Windass in 1998.

United had two bids turned down by the Scottish Premier League side earlier this month, which appeared to end their interest.

But Johnson, who handed in a transfer request on Monday to help force a move, packed a bag on Tuesday just in case.

And he was thrilled to finally bring an end to the uncertainty last night.

“It’s been quite hectic – ‘am I going, am I not?’, it all goes round in your head,” he said.

“When you get the all-clear you can’t explain how happy you are to one way or another know what you’re doing.

“I’m very grateful for that.”

The wide man, who has scored four goals in nine appearances this season, added: “I was aware of it (Oxford's interest) three weeks ago and the fact they stuck around and tried to do what they could to get me I was very impressed with that.

“It showed how much they wanted me and all I can do is repay the favour.”

On Tuesday night U’s head coach Michael Appleton described the chances of a successful move for the former Kidderminster Harriers man as “highly unlikely”.

But a lengthy call with chairman Darryl Eales, who is in France, helped pave the way for an improved offer which changed Motherwell’s mind.

Despite the scale of the investment, Appleton is certain it is money well spent.

He said: “I had a few ideas around potentially what we might be able to do and be creative in going back with something to Motherwell.

“I had a long conversation early in the morning with Darryl about what we could do and the potential I think Marvin has got going forward.

“That started the ball rolling really.

“There’s all sorts of things in the contract, like all contracts.

“There are certain bits that have to be met, but ultimately we had to get to a place where Motherwell were happy and we still think it’s fantastic business for the club.”

United only felt confident a deal could be done late in the afternoon – but they had done their homework.

With time ticking down to 11pm and Johnson 350 miles away, it could have been scuppered if the flights had been sold out.

But Appleton knew otherwise.

He said: “Around 5pm was probably the time I thought ‘actually this might happen’.

“We were quite cheeky from that point of view, we knew the availability on all the flights going out of Scotland.”