STEPHAN Negru has departed Oxford United to join Salford City on a season-long loan.

Earlier this month, the 21-year-old centre back was linked with a temporary switch to the Sky Bet League Two side, managed by Karl Robinson, who was sacked as U’s head coach in February 2023 after almost five years with the club.

Negru joined United from League of Ireland Premier Division outfit Shelbourne in January 2023, and was the penultimate permanent signing made under Robinson.

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Negru told the Salford club website: “He is a big part of why I came here, and I am excited to be playing underneath him, and getting the minutes that I need.

“He is someone that you trust in and he trusts in you, and he puts the belief in you, builds your confidence, and I like the style of football that he plays. 

“I honestly cannot wait to get started and work underneath him and play my best football.

“I’m here to win, I want to win the league, it is as simple as that. I don’t believe in just small goals, I aim for the highest that we can, and I believe that we can do that, win the league and get promoted to League One 100 per cent.

“I am excited and I cannot wait to get started. You need a break from football but once you’ve had that week or two off, you’re eager to get back, and I honestly can’t wait to get back on the pitch and get with the lads, and enjoy playing football again and kick on.”

The defender played twice at the end of the 2022/23 season, and 19 times in the most recent season.

Thirteen of his appearances this season were in League One, with 11 of those starts.

However, he didn’t play at all since starting in the 2-1 defeat at home to Leyton Orient on February 24.

Robinson said: “I’m really delighted to sign Stephan and I want to thank Ed Waldron and Grant Ferguson at Oxford United.

“He’s a player that I believe has got tremendous growth in his career and this is an opportunity for him to play a lot of games to prove to people how good he can be.

“He’s quick, he’s good in the air and incredibly aggressive, and one thing I really admire is he loves a tackle so we’re looking forward to having him for the year. Off the pitch he’s very grounded and a good person, which is important to us too.”