Former Nottingham Forest winger Jamie Mackie has told the Oxford Mail that he hopes Oxford United can keep their best players, following reported interest from the Reds in Gavin Whyte.

News emerged at the weekend, courtesy of the Belfast Telegraph (02/06; Back page), that Forest had made a bid of £2 million for the Northern Ireland international.

Mackie bagged five goals and registered seven assists in 49 appearances for Forest and he believes keeping Whyte would be ideal for the U’s.

He told the Oxford Mail: “It all depends on what happens when that window shuts.

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“I think a big achievement for us will be getting there and holding on to a couple of players – that would be a great start.

“I have played with a hell of a lot of people in my time and some of the ones we’ve got here have a massive chance, in my opinion, to go a very long way in the game.”

Mackie’s time at Forest was blighted with injuries but he managed 48 games in all competitions during 2018/19.

Seat Pitch Summary

The ex-Forest man might have just offered a hint to Reds supporters that the signing of Whyte could be a good one.

Signing a player from a team that finished in mid-table of League One last season wouldn’t typically have too many supporters rushing to place bets on the Reds winning promotion.

Mackie has been around the block for some time at Championship level, however, and he clearly fancies Whyte to have a promising career in English football.

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If the 23-year-old does pen terms at the City Ground he will hope to be given the chance to make an immediate impact.

Whyte can ease supporters’ perception that he might not be good enough for the Championship with some solid early performances. Indeed, if Forest do sign him it will certainly be intriguing to see how he gets on.

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