ALEX MacDonald has left by Oxford United mutual consent on deadline day and has signed for Mansfield Town.

The winger, who was out of contract this summer, joined the U’s on deadline day two years ago for an undisclosed fee from Burton Albion.

MacDonald has started 23 of United’s 39 games this season, but has been allowed to leave, just as striker Ryan Taylor did yesterday.

But head coach Michael Appleton felt he could not guarantee regular football, so allowed him to leave if another club could be found.

He told the club's official website: “Alex has done great for us and been a big part of everything we have achieved over the last couple of years.

"He is a positive character around the place and I know the fans will be sad to see him leave.

“However, sentiment can’t come into decisions like this and as with Ryan Taylor, we sat down with Alex and agreed that provided he could find a new club and the deal worked for all parties then he could leave.

"He deserves to play regular first team football, which we couldn’t guarantee here.

“He leaves with our thanks and best wishes and I’m sure will have a lot of great memories of his time at Oxford United.”

MacDonald made 83 starts, scoring 12 goals.

After helping steady United in his first few months, he made 52 appearances last season, where he was a key player in Appleton’s promotion-winning side.

He joins up with former U's teammate Patrick Hoban at Field Mill, with the Stags two points outside the play-off places.

MacDonald's departure is expected to make room for a signing today, before the 11pm transfer window deadline.

For all the latest news on deadline day, see our live blog.