Oxford United chairman Darryl Eales has confirmed that he wants £3million for forward Kemar Roofe – a valuation which could end Leeds United’s pursuit of the League Two player-of-the-year.
Leeds had been holding off on a firm move for Roofe after learning of Oxford’s asking price for the 23-year-old prospect.
United were willing to offer in the region of £1.5m but Oxford’s decision to hold out for a higher fee – a fee which Leeds see as excessive – is likely to prompt the Elland Road club to look at alternative targets.
Eales told the Oxford Mail: “To be fair, that (£3m) has always been my minimum number for Kemar.
“He’s got two more years on his contract and there’s no pressure on Michael (manager Michael Appleton) to sell anyone. If someone comes in with a valuation that matches ours we will think about it but no-one has.”
Leeds have been chasing other targets and are expected to announce the signing of Swedish striker Marcus Antonsson from Kalmar shortly, a deal which could cost close to £2m including add-ons.
The club are still interested in young Manchester United forward Ashley Fletcher and hope to pursuade him to take up a deal at Elland Road instead of signing a new contract at Old Trafford.
Roofe attracted attention from Leeds by scoring 26 times last season, firing Oxford to promotion to League One and the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Oxford tied him to a three-year contract when they signed him from West Bromwich Albion 12 months ago but the deal with the Baggies included a substantial sell-on clause, a liability which is encouraging Oxford to hold out for a large fee.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old midfielder Kalvin Phillips has signed a new three-year deal with United, tying himself to Elland Road until 2019.
Philips, who featured only 10 times last season, admitted he was hoping for more opportunities under new head coach Garry Monk, saying: “Personally, I want to do better than last season and get more game time.”