Oxford United manager Karl Robison has told the Oxford Mail he would like to re-sign Derby County’s George Thorne on loan if a cheaper deal can be negotiated.
Thorne, who cost Derby £2.6 million, joined Oxford on a six-month loan last summer.
The holding midfielder, however, has barely featured for the U’s after dislocating his shoulder in the Carabao Cup victory over Premier League side West Ham United.
Thorne has since returned to Derby this month after the expiration of his deal.
But, speaking to reporters, Robinson says he would like to sign Thorne again until the end of the season on the condition that Oxford can get a cheaper deal for him.
If it’s a minimal cost one then he’s a tremendous person to have around the building. He’s a top player, I think everyone at the club saw in the two games he played he was so unlucky. We know it works for him geographically and if Derby want to work with us it would be something we’d probably do, but it would have to be on our terms, rather than theirs. We have footed the bill while he’s been injured. It’s nobody’s fault but we’ll have to wait and see.
Thorne has endured a succession of long-term injuries throughout his career.
Only one month after Derby signed him from West Bromwich Albion, the 26-year-old suffered an ACL knee injury prior to the 2014-15 campaign. He missed the entire season.
Thorne returned for the 2015-16 campaign, but then broke his leg on the final day of the season. He missed the ensuing playoffs which Derby lost at the semi-final stage.
The Rams retained hope he would recover. Unfortunately, Thorne has lost a yard of pace, and further injury troubles has limited his playing opportunities.
The former West Brom midfielder’s contract expires at Pride Park this coming summer. He needs a fresh start, and Oxford could be the club to give it to him.