DES Buckingham and Luke Williams have emerged as the bookmakers’ frontrunners to be the next Oxford United boss, as the search is set to intensify this week.

Liam Manning left the U’s on Tuesday, to take the vacant managerial position at Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City.

Since his departure, interim head coach Craig Short has overseen two wins, against Chelsea Under-21s in the EFL Trophy, and Leyton Orient in League One.

The former Blackburn Rovers defender has previously said he expects United’s replacement for Manning to take charge for the build-up to the trip to Cheltenham Town on November 25, the next game for the club.

With that in mind, an appointment towards the end of this week or early next is most likely.

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Oxford-born Buckingham would be a popular choice among U’s supporters, with the 38-year-old currently in charge of Indian Super League side Mumbai City, following stints with Wellington Phoenix and New Zealand age group teams.

According to The Sack Race, Buckingham is 1/2 to take over at United.

He is closely followed by Notts County head coach Williams, who guided the Magpies back into the Football League last season and has got them sitting fifth in League Two this campaign.

U’s midfielder Ruben Rodrigues worked with Williams at the Magpies, and said after scoring twice at Orient on Saturday: “I hope Luke Williams, but I can’t say too much. I can’t say it because I love Notts County.”

Williams, whose odds see him at 3/1, has previously managed Swindon Town, and was assistant to Russell Martin at both MK Dons and Swansea City, prior to joining the Magpies.

Dean Holden, the former Charlton Athletic manager, is ranked at 6/1, while John Eustace and Frank Lampard see their odds currently at 8/1, although it is understood Chelsea legend Lampard is not in consideration for the job.

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