Josh Murphy: Oxford United in contract talks with play-off final hero

Oxford United are in talks with League One play-off final goalscorer Josh Murphy over a new contract.

The 29-year-old scored both the U’s goals in the 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers last week that secured promotion to the Championship.

Murphy, whose deal runs out in the summer, had struggled after his move from Norwich City in 2022 but was reinvigorated when Des Buckingham took over as head coach in November.

He scored six league goals before his match-winning performance at Wembley.

Defender Joe Bennett and midfielder Josh McEachran are also in talks over new deals.

The U’s have triggered one-year contract extensions for Marcus McGuane and Josh Johnson

But long-serving midfielder James Henry is one of four players being released.

The 34-year-old scored 57 goals in 260 appearances since joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer of 2017.

Marcus Browne, Billy Bodin and Steve Seddon will also leave the club when their contracts expire next month.

“During my time as head coach, I had the privilege to work closely with James Henry, Billy Bodin and Marcus Browne,” Buckingham said.

“I would like to personally thank them, not just for their effort since I arrived, but for the years of incredible service they have provided the club.

“Each of these players has played their part in our promotion back to the Championship and they will forever be remembered in this club’s history for their hard work and dedication to Oxford United.”

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