Oxford United step out of deadline day chase for Sunderland's Will Grigg
Oxford United have ended their interest in Will Grigg.
Manager Karl Robinson said three days ago that he wanted Grigg to compete with Sam Winnall and Matty Taylor for a place in his side, but now says he has other priorities.
“It was a possibility, but other areas have become more apparent to us,” Robinson told the Oxford Mail.
"It won’t be a move we’ll be going to.
"He would have come here if we wanted him, that was very clear.
"He’s a player that I’ve got unbelievable respect for.
"On and off the pitch he’s the type of character that everybody should have in the dressing room.
"He’s a good guy and I know he’s not scored a goal for a period of time, but I know he’ll find that rhythm very quickly.
"Seeing Sam getting back up to speed is very exciting for us,” he added.
"That’ll be like a new signing if we keep him fit.
"It’s only if Sam wasn’t available and we had injuries that it [Grigg] would be a possibility.”
Robinson’s admission clears the way for MK Dons, who are thought to be favourites to conclude a loan deal before the 11pm deadline.
Shrewsbury Town have had a strong interest in Grigg over the last week but MK Dons boss Russell Martin confirmed this morning that his club are looking to strike a deal.
"I was truthful last week when I said I didn't think it would happen, but this time, the situation has changed and a lot of people are still interested, including ourselves. We'll have to wait and see,” Martin said.
"He's a very good player at this level and a lot of clubs are interested in him."
Ross Stewart’s arrival from Ross County has cleared the way for Grigg’s departure, with Lee Johnson now having four striking options for the second half of the season.
Johnson was open to keeping Grigg within his group but the striker made clear that he was eager to find a club closer to his family, and where he was likely to get more time on the pitch.