OXFORD United have hit the jackpot this summer with both Manchester United and Portsmouth agreeing to visit the Kassam Stadium for glamorous pre-season friendlies.

It will be a Manchester United XI, probably without most of the European and Premier League champions' first-team stars, that arrives in Oxford on Saturday, July 26 (3pm).

But the news that has delighted U's chairman Nick Merry, and which should guarantee a bumper crowd, is that Pompey will be bringing their star-studded FA Cup-winning side when they take on Darren Patterson's men on Monday, August 4 (7.45pm).

The Portsmouth team, which famously beat Cardiff City 1-0 at Wembley on May 17 - their first FA Cup triumph for 59 years - included international stars David James, Glen Johnson and Sol Campbell (England), Pedro Mendes (Portugal), Lassana Diarra (France), Papa Bouba Diop (Senegal), Sulley Ali Muntari (Ghana), John Utaka and Kanu (Nigeria), Niko Kranjcar (Croatia) and Milan Baros (Czech Republic).

Jermain Defoe, who scored twice in England's last international in Trinidad & Tobago, is also likely to play in what will be Oxford United's final pre-season game before their Blue Square Premier programme begins on August 9. Defoe was ineligible for the FA Cup final.

Director Jim Smith's contacts - namely his close friendship with Sir Alex Ferguson and Harry Redknapp - have helped to make these two eye-catching friendlies possible.

Merry said: "It's great news for us. You can't have much better than the European Champions and the FA Cup winners for your two main pre-season games."

Manchester United are involved in the Vodacom Challenge warm-up tournament in South Africa in July before playing Portsmouth in a challenge match in Tinapa, Nigeria, at the end of July as a prelude to their Community Shield meeting at Wembley on August 10, and the Red Devils will be facing Kaizer Chiefs on the same day that they send what will be largely a reserve and youth team to Oxford.

However, Man Utd chief executive David Gill has already stated that none of the players participating in Euro 2008 or the South American World Cup qualifiers will be making the trip to Africa.

That rules out Edwin van der Sar (Holland), Nani (Portugal), Carloz Tevez (Argentina) and Anderson (Brazil), plus, of course, a certain Cristiano Ronaldo, should he still be at Old Trafford rather than Real Madrid.

Whether any of them will be considered for the friendly at Oxford will depend on when they return to pre-season training and their level of their match fitness.

The further Holland and Portugal progress in Euro 2008, the less these players' chances of appearing, it appears. But you never know.

Merry added: "Jim's contacts have obviously been very influential. That's what happens when you have someone like that on board and we're absolutely delighted to get these two fantastic clubs."

Oxford United are at pains to stress that it is a Man Utd XI, and that there may be none of their household names involved.

"We wouldn't want to mislead anyone, because at this stage it is a Manchester United XI, involving probably their up-and-coming players who may some time get into the first team rather than those in their first team now," said secretary Mick Brown.

"But if nearer the time that changes and they are able to include one or some of their big-name players, as happened before, that will obviously be a real bonus. But there are no guarantees and we wouldn't want to get people's hopes up, only for them to be disappointed. We're just delighted to welcome them down here, because they don't normally play these kinds of games so far south."

Fitting in these new pre-season games mean slight changes to the matches already announced. Oxford United's game at Basingstoke Town has been postponed, while a new friendly has been added away at Maidenhead United, of the Blue Square South, on Saturday July 19, the day of the Kassam Stadium wedding.

Ticket details will be announced soon.