NEWS UPDATE - Oxford United announce takeover as Thai businessman becomes new owner 

OXFORD United have been given formal permission by Cardiff City to try to conclude a deal which would see Craig Bellamy become their next manager.

The search for a new U’s boss is in a fifth week – but looks as though it may soon be resolved with the appointment of the former Wales forward.

Cardiff’s chief executive yesterday told the Oxford Mail that the Bluebirds had accepted United’s request to hold talks with Bellamy over the vacancy.

Ken Choo said reports a deal was already done were wide of the mark, but he accepted that the next few days would be crucial.

Oxford United is just having initial talks, nothing firm yet,” he said.

When asked whether conversations were ongoing, he confirmed: “Not yet. But I am sure it will (in the) next few days.

“They are just getting my permission to do so today.

“I am fine with that. We like Oxford United. They are good people.”

Speculation is rife among United supporters that a new manager could coincide with a takeover at the club.

Bellamy is Cardiff’s player development manager, but is keen to take the step into a first role as full-time boss.

The 38-year-old was interviewed for the Wales job before his ex-teammate Ryan Giggs was appointed in January.

He remained tight-lipped on the prospects of joining Oxford when speaking on Sky TV’s ‘The Debate’ a fortnight ago, but said any potential appointment would depend on the hierachy at a club.

“It’s no secret I have always wanted to become a manager,” he said.

“It doesn’t bother me what league. I have always been conscious of the fact I want it to be a good football club with good owners, someone that is going to back you and give you time.

“If I felt confident that was the case, I would definitely jump at it.”

Since sacking Pep Clotet, the U’s have slipped down the Sky Bet League One table and go into Saturday’s match at Northampton Town just five points clear of the relegation zone.

Derek Fazackerley has been in caretaker charge, and it seems likely the 66-year-old would stay on to assist Bellamy in his first management role.

United’s board have made no comment on their search for more than a fortnight and were again remaining tight-lipped last night.

  • OXFORD United’s Oxfordshire Senior Cup semi-final against Oxford City will be held at Court Place Farm on Tuesday, March 6 (7.30).