FREE agents are not on the radar as Oxford United’s recruitment team focus on the January window and offering contract extensions to those already in the squad.

The club held a routine meeting yesterday to discuss progress, but recent injuries in the squad’s attacking unit had not changed the agenda, according to manager Pep Clotet.

United lost Agon Mehmeti on Tuesday to a torn hamstring which is expected to take several weeks to heal.

Wes Thomas and Jon Obika – the squad’s other senior out-and-out centre forwards – have also been regulars in the treatment room this season.

Emergency loans have been scrapped, leaving free agents as the only pool of players available to reinforce the squad, but United’s efforts are being put in elsewhere.

Clotet said: “We’re not doing much work when it comes to recruitment (to sign) now because we’re focused on the squad.

“When it comes to the winter you have to be very picky in that window.

“It’s my first season as a manager and it’s not easy to get everything right in the first window.

“All the managers need two or three windows to get the team that they want, but I’m happy with how we are.

“I think we’re competing well and we have a very good set of professionals here.

“We’re not really considering (signing anyone) now.”

While strengthening the squad when the transfer window re-opens in January is important, tying key players down to longer deals is just as crucial.

A large group are on deals which expire next summer, including a trio regarded as valuable assets – Rob Hall, Joe Rothwell and skipper Curtis Nelson.

Clotet said: “We do have regular meetings with the recruitment department.

“We had one (yesterday) looking forward and our priority as well is to assess all the situations regarding contract extensions and things like that which are important.

“It’s about what we do in January and what we do going forward with contract extensions that we are assessing.

“I would like the club to sit down with them and extend the contracts if they can get an agreement, of course.”


  • Manny Agboola  
  • Josh Ashby
  • Rob Hall
  • Sam Long
  • Aaron Martin
  • Agon Mehmeti
  • Malachi Napa
  • Curtis Nelson
  • Christian Ribeiro
  • Ricardinho
  • James Roberts
  • Joe Rothwell
  • Josh Ruffels
  • Scott Shearer
  • Dwight Tiendalli
  • Wes Thomas
  • Gino van Kessel
  • Mike Williamson