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Oxford United's loan hope
CHRIS Wilder is hopeful of signing a creative midfielder before the loan window closes next week.
The U’s boss has submitted enquiries to clubs in the Premier League and Championship as he attempts to strengthen Oxford United’s squad for the crucial final month of the season.
Peter Leven is making progress from minor knee surgery, but any football he plays before the end of the season would be regarded as a bonus.
The Scot’s range of passing has been missed since he was sidelined at the start of February and United have spent several weeks scouring the divisions for someone who can unlock defences.
Wilder admitted that it has not been an easy task and a new face is unlikely to arrive before tomorrow’s npower League Two clash at Northampton Town.
But he is optimistic of bringing in someone before the window shuts for good next Thursday.
He said: “I’ve been at games this week because we need to replace Pete.
“Scotty Davies has come in and done great, but we still need someone to fill in for Lev.
“We’re trying to do that, but finding left-footed central midfield players that are in and around his quality is a difficult task.
“It’s hard to say (whether a deal can be done), we have asked questions at a couple of Championship clubs and we’ve asked regarding a young boy at a Premier League club, but nothing has been finalised.
“We’ll keep looking and keep trying, we have enough good contacts. People recognise that with the players we’ve had, it’s a decent environment to work in.
“People will let their players out if it’s right for them, but as you can imagine, it’s not just the club involved, it’s the player, the agent and a lot of other people.”
Last season the U’s brought in 20-year-old winger Cristian Montano from West Ham late in the loan window.
Wilder wants a player with plenty of games under their belt so they can make an instant impact in the run-in, although it is not straightforward.
He said: “An ideal one would be someone who has league experience, but in every division from the Championship down there is something to play for and clubs don’t want to let their best players go.
“It’s a difficult market to try and get one.”