LIAM Sercombe hailed the support he had received from Oxford United fans after his two year-stay at the club ended with a move to Bristol Rovers.

Yesterday’s transfer, which involved an undisclosed fee believed to be in excess of £150,000, represented a good deal for the U’s and the midfielder.

It gave Sercombe a chance to move closer to his family in Devon, while United recouped a significant fee for a player who had fallen out of favour in the final weeks of last season.

Despite the sad ending to his time at the club, which featured 22 goals from 101 appearances, the 27-year-old posted an upbeat farewell message on his Twitter account to the United supporters.

It read: “Thank you for a great two years at Oxford, (there are) a lot of memories that will stick with me, (and a) massive thank you to all the fans that made me feel so welcome from the start and I appreciate all the messages.”

While Hibernian boss Neil Lennon was also keen on signing the former Exeter City player, Sercombe told the Rovers’ official website it was a straightforward decision.

He said: “As soon as I knew of Rovers’ interest, there was only one place I wanted to go.

“People who know me will also know how much I wanted to come here.

“I’m very happy and can’t wait to get started.”

Sercombe’s departure came hours after it was announced Joe Skarz was being released.

Both had played key roles in the U’s promotion from Sky Bet League Two during the 2015/16 campaign, before struggling to recapture the same levels of fitness and form last season.

But while Skarz’s release will have surprised some, Sercombe’s move has been on the cards for weeks.

Unspecified ‘disciplinary reasons’ saw him sidelined in the final month of the season and United triggered an extra year in Sercombe’s contract purely so he could not leave for free this summer.

In a short statement on the U’s website, head coach Michael Appleton said: “With John Lundstram, Joe Rothwell, Ryan Ledson and Josh Ruffels all fighting for a central midfield place we have plenty of competition in that area of the field.

“But we thank Liam for his hard work over the last couple of years and wish him well for the future.”