Mark McGhee, the Motherwell manager, claims he’d be ‘amazed’ if Oxford United land his star player Marvin Johnson – insisting he’s too good and too expensive for them.

HeraldSport revealed yesterday that the Fir Park club had a low offer rejected for the 25-year-old winger on Wednesday having been contacted the day before by the English League One outfit the day before. Johnson, who has two years left to run on his deal in Lanarkshire, is thought to come with a £1million price tag that Oxford are understood still to be some way off.

McGhee has been candid about his astonishment that Johnson, after a season and a half in claret and amber, is still a Motherwell player.

READ MORE: Motherwell knock back bid for £1million-rated Marvin Johnson from Oxford United​HeraldScotland: MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND - JULY 26: Marvin Johnson of Motherwell celebrates Motherwell's 1st goal during the BETFRED Cup First Round Group F Match between Motherwell and East Stirlingshire at Fir Park on July 26, 2016 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by St

And while he refused to go into specifics of the offer made by United, he respectfully reassured the Fir Park support that if Johnson is to leave any time soon, the Kassam Stadium is unlikely to be his destination – especially at a cut price.

“Listen, I don’t know what Oxford have in their coffers but I’d be amazed if they could afford to buy Marvin Johnson,” said the Motherwell manager.

“I’d be even more amazed if Marvin – and I don’t mean any disrespect to Oxford as a club, I’m only talking about the level they’re playing at at this moment in time – would settle for that.

READ MORE: Motherwell knock back bid for £1million-rated Marvin Johnson from Oxford United​

“Should Marvin leave here any time soon then the absolute minimum he should be looking at is the Championship down south.

“He has more than enough about him to go and be comfortable at that level. I was at the Brighton v Lazio game last Saturday and, although it was a friendly, he could walk into their team and cakewalk it – there’s no danger about that.

“I’ve no idea why he hasn’t moved before this – maybe it’s a problem with the perception of Scottish football but Burton Albion took the boy Jackson Irvine from Ross County.

“You’ll have heard managers saying before that they can’t wait for the transfer window to close and that’s the case with me and Marvin because I hope that he’s still our player when it shuts this time.”HeraldScotland: Vital: Louis Moult may be allowed to face Rangers despite a groin injury, underlining his importance to Mark McGhee's Motherwell side.

Johnson has bloomed significantly since McGhee took charge at Fir Park last October, particularly in recent months.

Originally used as an out-and-out wide man, the current Fir Park manager has added an extra streak of dynamism to the former Kidderminster player’s game with a licence to roam freely through the middle as well as on the flanks.

Already this season Johnson has hit three goals and, while Motherwell want £1m for him just now, McGhee firmly believes that if he continues to progress as he has been then that figure could very well double.

He said: “Apart from anything else, whatever he may be worth now I’m convinced that, by the time the January window comes along, he’ll be worth double that if he continues to develop the way he has been..

“You also have to remember that he’s been a late developer. He came here from Kidderminster and the thing about Marvin is that, the higher the level he plays at, the more it will draw out of him.

“He’ll be a better player for operating in a stronger division and he’ll respond positively to having better players around him. There’s a lot more to come from him.

“I think he suffered a little bit when we played him wide on the left. That’s why we changed it last season: other teams recognised the threat he posed and they began to target him.

“By that I mean tactically rather than physically – other managers would deploy extra players down that side to try and close him down.

“We gave him more space and he’s benefited from that and so have we. And, although he still sometimes plays on the left, we’ve given him a licence to roam which allows him to exploit his pace to make the runs he’s capable of making.

“There are all sorts of rumours circulating about Marvin being sought after but that doesn’t surprise me – what bamboozles me is that it hasn’t happened before now.

“Last year he was outstanding for us and this year he’s started in the same way – in fact, if anything, he’s even better."