Callum O'Dowda: Oxford United winger's pre-season tour absence due to 'illness'

Oxford United midfielder Callum O'Dowda
Callum O'Dowda made his senior Republic of Ireland debut in May

Oxford United insist "illness" is the reason for Callum O'Dowda missing the start of a pre-season tour to Spain.

The Republic of Ireland winger did not board the team flight to La Cala near Malaga on Sunday and a friendly against Solihull Moors the previous day.

O'Dowda, 21, has recently been linked with a move away from the Kassam Stadium, but has two years left on his contract with the League One club.

Oxford remain hopeful he will fly out to join the squad later this week.

The Oxfordshire-born winger made his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland in May against Belarus as he trained with Martin O'Neill's squad before it was finalised for Euro 2016.

Oxford manager Michael Appleton is confident of recruiting more new faces before the start of the season following the departure of midfielder Kemar Roofe to Leeds on Thursday.

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