OXFORD United are preparing to make a significant six-figure bid in an attempt to bring in a centre half.

It is thought to be for Kilmarnock defender Stuart Findlay, following strong links with the U’s in the Scottish press.

Karl Robinson, who saw his side beat Oxford City 5-3 in a pre-season friendly last night, would not confirm the speculation, which mentions a fee in the region of £500,000.

But the U’s boss admitted he was well aware of the 23-year-old, who earned call-ups to the senior Scotland side after impressing last season.

“I know of him and I think he’s top drawer,” he said.

“We’re talking a lot of money. We’ve not opened talks over anybody yet, but people know where we stand.

“We’re not the only club that will be in for him, there will be a lot.

“But we have one or two other options as well, so it’s not like he’s the only option we’ve got.

“It just shows how important this is that we try to get a deal done, whether it’s him or somebody else.

“He’s not our player, so I’m trying to be as respectful as possible to Kilmarnock.”

United scouted players in Scotland several times last season.

They have already brought in Alex Rodriguez Gorrin and bid for his Motherwell teammate Chris Cadden this summer.

Filling the centre half slot left vacant by Curtis Nelson’s departure last month has as high a priority as finding a goalscorer before the start of the season.

They used last night’s friendly to have a look at Jon Guthrie.

The tall defender played the second half at Court Place Farm and will feature against Thame United this evening.

Herald Series:

  • Jon Guthrie in action for Oxford United last night    Picture: Mark Edwards

Guthrie, 26, started 41 Sky Bet League One games last season for Walsall, who released him following their relegation in May.

Robinson also revealed some progress had been made with the striker target he met on the way home from Sunday’s friendly at Rangers, but there is still some way to go.

And that player’s wages mean United are looking at a six-month loan deal as it stands.

Robinson said: “We’ve got a lot of work to do with the striker.

“I know he wants to come down next week and have a look round.

“There’s a lot of things I have to iron out, I’m not sure if we’re the only team in there.”