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Roker Roundup: Oxford gaffer Robinson denies knowledge of Sunderland ‘interest’ in star defender

Oxford United boss Karl Robinson has been asked by the press of Sunderland’s interest in his star defender, who is out of contract soon and was linked with a move to Wearside in the summer.

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League One defender linked

Oxford United defender Curtis Nelson is out of contract at the end of the season and according to manager Karl Robinson, should he not agree a new deal, then he would prefer to let the player run down his contract than lose him in the January transfer window:

I would let it run down but every player has a price tag, it’s as simple as that.

At this level of English football you can’t ever say not one player will be sold. There’s a substantial price tag on Curtis Nelson’s head and we’re not going to budge from that.

With someone who is a talented player, there will always be people who will ask that question. I’d like to think that it will be done in a correct way, if it’s done. We’ll have to wait and see.

The Oxford Mail claim that Robinson was unaware of rumoured interest in Nelson from Sunderland but said he is hoping to convince him to sign a new deal that would include a reasonable buy-out clause:

We sit down with him and his agent to try to make something happen and maybe give him the opportunity to have a buy-out clause in his contract.

[That way] we don’t hold him to ransom in regards to a ridiculously high transfer fee, which is what we’ll hold him to in this window.

Jack Ross said in his pre-Bradford City press conference that he is hoping to add to the squad early in the transfer window, with a centre-back high in his thoughts:

I would hope that we might have one in early part of January. There is one we have been working on, I am hoping we can get in.

If it does go through then I would imagine it would be at the beginning of the month. Beyond that, it will be maybe dependant on squad wise, injury wise, etc.

There is one which is a priority for us, hopefully we can get in right at the beginning of the month.

Oxford United v Coventry City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Papy signs 3-year deal?

After yesterday’s news that Guingamp confirmed that Didier Ndong had agreed a deal in principle to join the club, it now appears certain that he will be joined at Stade de Roudourou by Papy Djilobodji.

Le Telegramme reported that the defender was close to reuniting with Ndong at Guingamp and now Senegalese website MetroDakar claim the Senegalese international has inked a three-year deal with the club.

Guingamp are currently bottom of Ligue 1 with just 11 points and hope the signings of the former Sunderland pair will propel them to safety...

Sunderland v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Borini close to Chinese move

Former Sunderland striker Fabio Borini has recently been linked with a move away from AC Milan, as both Newcastle United and Shenzen FC have been credited with an interest in the Italian.

According to tuttomercatoweb, Borini is very close to securing a move to Shenzen, with former Sunderland director of football Roberto Di Fanti - who is now Borini’s agent - in China currently negotiating the transfer.

The report claims the deal has been agreed but is currently being held up by a tax issue, namely that for however much Shenzen purchase Borini for, the club would have to pay the same amount to the state.

That does not mean the deal is dead however, with negotiations on-going.

Hull City v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Mavrias leaves Hibs

Charis Mavrias has left Hibernian after a short spell with Neil Lennon’s side.

The winger made two appearances for the Scottish Premiership side before suffering a hamstring injury but despite the club being happy for the player to remain at Easter Road, Mavrias has decided to leave in pursuit of regular first-team football.

Sunderland AFC v Udinese - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

Stokes returns to Iran

Anthony Stokes has returned to Iran to link back up with Tractor Sazi just a month after he appeared to cancel his contract with the club.

Stokes cited personal issues when he left during the last international break but speaking ahead of rejoining the club, the player admitted that he had family problems which made his first spell with the club difficult but is keen to repay the club for understanding his situation:

I had a very good meeting with the team’s general manager, Mohammad Taghavi and he now has a very good understanding of my situation.

Unfortunately, I had major family problems this month which meant I had to return home.

During my first spell at the club, these problems meant I couldn’t concentrate fully on my football and I could not concentrate.

Thankfully, I now have the full support of the club. I want to repay the club for the faith they have shown in me and I want to compensate them by scoring goals.

Hopefully, the fans will give me a good reception too.

Sunderland v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

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