Oxford United considering new Bristol Rovers bid for striker James Constable
BRISTOL Rovers are set to find out in the next few days whether a revised bid for striker James Constable will be accepted by Oxford United.
Oxford chairman Kelvin Thomas confirmed over the weekend that Rovers had returned with a second offer for the frontman after an initial bid, believed to be in the region of £120,000, was knocked back last Wednesday.
"We have received a second bid from Bristol Rovers, which will be considered over the weekend," said Thomas.
Oxford's policy of making Rovers' offer public suggests they are open to the idea of offloading a player who was their leading scorer last season with 11 goals – but are keen to achieve maximum return on the striker, who was the subject of a £225,000 offer from Swindon Town during the January transfer window.
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That deal failed to go through after Constable rejected the opportunity to discuss the possibility of a move to the County Ground and pledged his loyalties to Oxford.
The speculation, however, was believed to be one of the reasons for which Constable was deemed to have had a less than inspiring second half of the season, in which he scored just two goals.
Oxford now look keen to offload the striker in an attempt to use any cash on new signings to improve their squad after narrowly missing out on a play-off spot.
Ideally, Oxford would be keen to spark an auction for a player, who has two years remaining on his deal at the Kassam Stadium, and reports suggest free-spending Northampton and Blue Square Premier side Luton Town, managed by former Rovers manager Paul Buckle, are monitoring the situation.
Rovers, however, remain favourites to claim the signature of Constable ahead of Northampton due to geographical reasons – the player lives near Swindon – while Luton are disadvantaged by their status in a lower division.
Mark McGhee will be hopeful of getting his man after it became clear Rovers have edged closer to Oxford's valuation of the striker.
And they will be encouraged by Thomas' decision to "consider" the latest bid, as opposed to the way he immediately dismissed the first offer last week.
Should the offer be accepted, it is understood talks between Rovers and Constable could be delayed until the player returns from holiday next week.