RYAN Ledson has completed a move to Sky Bet Championship side Preston North End.

The 20-year-old, who made 70 starts for United, has put pen-to-paper on a three-year deal, joining for an undisclosed fee.

The U’s had conceded it was going to be tough to hang on to the midfielder, who was the subject of a bid from Preston in January.

However, hopes the former Everton trainee would remain an Oxford player were boosted when boss Karl Robinson said earlier this month he would only move ‘if it’s something he really wants and is a very heavily-weighted financial package for us’.

But Ledson’s desire to return nearer home and play at a higher level has seen the transfer go through.

Robinson admitted that once Preston matched United’s valuation – understood to be a substantial six-figure sum – the writing was on the wall.

“I am sure everyone at the club is sad to see him go because he is an outstanding young man as well as a really good player,” he said.

“Preston have behaved impeccably throughout the process. Once there was interest, we told them a price and they matched it.

“Ryan is very mature and we spoke honestly about what he saw as a chance to move closer to home as well as a chance to prove himself in the Championship.

“I’m sure the fans will join me in thanking Ryan for his time here and we wish him all the best in everything he does in the future.”

Ledson was delighted to complete the move, but admitted to mixed feelings after ending his spell at United.

“It’s exciting to be joining Preston and I’m looking forward to playing in the Championship,” he said.

“But I am sad to be leaving Oxford as well.

“It’s been fantastic and the fans have been great with me so I wanted to thank them for that."