MARK Sykes says January could be ‘massive’ as he enters the final six months of his Oxford United contract.

The midfielder brought up three years at the club last weekend, but his deal runs out at the end of this season.

Sykes is enjoying his best campaign with the U’s and is currently in a prolific vein of form, scoring four times in his last five matches.

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It has led to inevitable questions about his future and the 24-year-old confirmed he, his representatives and United are in constant contact.

Sykes said: “I want to do what’s right for me.

“We speak with the club constantly and obviously January’s going to be massive in terms of what happens.

“That’s for me and the club to speak about, but nothing’s been spoken about in terms of any new news.

“I love it (at United), especially because I’m playing so well and scoring goals.”

Sykes delivered several strong performances towards the end of last season, with the U’s triggering an option to extend his previous deal by an extra year.

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He has added goals to his game in 2021/22, already finding the net eight times, while 17 of his 20 Sky Bet League One appearances have been starts.

The former Glenavon man is one of nine first-team players out of contract this summer, with Karl Robinson confirming last month that conversations had started in some cases.

The U’s head coach suggested Alex Gorrin would be offered a new deal, while Elliott Moore, James Henry and Anthony Forde are others whose terms expire.

Robinson knows striking a balance during contract talks can be tricky, but was full of praise for Sykes.

He said: “It’s always difficult, but we’ll be very hard in negotiations.

“We believe that we have good players and we believe people like him need to be part of the football club moving forward.

“We want Mark Sykes to stay here for a long time.”

Robinson added: “There’s loads of different components that can get the best out of players and we’ve tried a number of ways of doing it with Sykesy.

“He’s been brilliant this year and it’s down to him.

“Now he’s training really well week-in, week-out and we know we’ve got a much better player than this time last year.”