With just 17 days until the Championship season kicks off preparations are underway as clubs look to give themselves the best chance for the 2019/20 campaign.
Two clubs where the preparations are going to be particularly important are Fulham and Swansea City.
Fulham were relegated from the Premier League last season and will be hoping that they can secure a return to the top flight in Scott Parker’s first full season in charge.
Swansea are preparing for a first season under new boss Steve Cooper, who arrived at the Liberty Stadium in June after Graham Potter left the club to join Brighton.
Both sides will be looking to be shrewd in the transfer market and it seems they are set to battle it out over the signing of Reece Oxford from West Ham United.
We assess the situation surrounding the two club’s pursuit of Oxford in our latest Six Pointer…
What is Oxford’s current situation?
“The 20-year-old still has two years left on his contract with the Hammers but he seems unlikely to feature in Manuel Pelligrini’s plans for the upcoming season and will surely leave the club this summer.
“The Englishman was sent out on loan twice last season and was not included in West Ham’s 23-man squad for the Premier League Asia Trophy in China.
“According to Sky Sports, Fulham and Swansea are monitoring Oxford and are considering offers to take him on season-long loans.”
What does he offer?
“Oxford showed in glimpses early in his West Ham career that he is a talented player but has struggled to find consistent play-time and form since.
“He made nine appearances on loan at Ausburg in the second half of last season and impressed coach Martin Schmidt, who told Kicker magazine (via Sky Sports) that he “has the potential to become a big player.”
“The England youth international is comfortable playing in both central midfield and at centre-back so would provide some versatility.
“At 20, Oxford is still very much a young man and having shown in the past that he has raw talent, he is certainly worth taking a chance on.”
Do Fulham need him?
“He could be a useful asset for Parker but he is not desperately needed.
“The English coach does already have a number of quality options in both central defence and defensive midfield.
“Having been relegated last season, Fulham may be expecting a few of their big-name midfielders, such as Jean Michele Seri and Andre Zambo Anguissa, to leave.
“Oxford could be a good replacement.”
Do Swansea City need him?
“Cooper only has three centre-backs in the squad, so he could do with adding cover there, and he also lacks an out-and-out defensive midfielder.
“Oxford’s versatility across the two positions means he could be an ideal solution for both issues.”
Which is the more attractive option?
“Looking at the squads, Fulham seem the more likely to be challenging at the top of the table this season.
“The London side would also offer Oxford the chance to learn from Parker, who is a former England defensive midfielder.
“However, Oxford has been starved of playing time in recent years, making 24 appearances in four loan spells, and Swansea seems to be the club where he is likely to get more opportunities.
“Additionally, the new Swans boss has a history of developing young players and the 20-year-old may believe playing under him would be more beneficial to his career.”
Does he have other options?
“Yes, Oxford has been linked with rejoining Ausburg on a permanent deal.
“Sky Sports have reported that negotiations between the Hammers and the German side have reopened after the player dropped his previous demands over a relegation release clause.
“The report suggests that the deal for Oxford is worth £2.7 million.”