Oxford united ‘preparing bid’ for £85.6m England international

STEPHAN Negru remains on the right path in his development, believes Oxford United head coach Des Buckingham.

Negru has participated in 17 of the U’s 42 games in all competitions this season, with his most recent performance drawing high praise.

The 21-year-old center back enjoyed Wycombe Wanderers’ aerial battle over the weekend and contributed significantly to United’s clean sheet.

It was the first shutout since the U’s 3-0 victory over Burton Albion at home on December 16.

Negru hasn’t made many mistakes since being thrown into the first team last season, and after a number of strong performances at the start of this season, he was linked to a transfer to Brighton & Hove Albion, a Premier League team.

Former United manager Liam Manning called the rumors “just noise,” but in early September, Negru was rewarded with a “longer-term deal.”

Since then, Negru has been in and out of the team. In December and January, he missed many weeks due to a hamstring injury.

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When speaking about Negru’s growth, Buckingham stated: “He needs to keep learning, first and foremost from Elliott Moore, who is an amazing role model.

Elliott is still a young man, but having someone like Elliott as club captain around all the time will benefit him in his growth.

“After that, to keep refining both the way we want him to play and his own playing style with the coaches.”

“He can play in two different ways: either as Elliott’s replacement, as we saw over the weekend, or in a different system, like the back three we’ve employed on occasion.

It might be challenging to carve out a career as a young player when more experienced players are in front of you.

The fact that Steph is one of the many kind folks here is pleasing. He is well aware of his purpose and is putting a lot of effort into improving.

“He’s ready to step in and step up because he needs to contribute when he gets his opportunity, which he has had since I’ve been here.”

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