FORMER Birmingham City boss John Eustace has emerged as the early bookmakers’ favourite to replace Liam Manning at Oxford United.

Eustace left the Blues last month after 15 months in charge, having guiding them to a 17th-placed finish in his first season.

Although the club were sixth upon his departure, Birmingham opted to replace Eustace with former England star Wayne Rooney.

According to The Sack Race, Eustace is 5/1 to take over at United.

Ex-Lincoln City and Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley is also an early favourite, at 6/1, while Gareth Ainsworth, Garry Monk and Steve Cotterill are listed at 8/1.

However, none of the above quite match the type of head coach the U’s are likely to pursue, with a younger head coach model likely to be sought after.

Interim head coach Craig Short is at 10/1, however it is a selection of names at similar odds who are the most plausible options United will look to, in targeting as seamless a transition as possible.

Former U’s coach Des Buckingham, currently in charge of Mumbai City, would be a welcome successor to Manning, with the Oxford-born 38-year-old impressing in multiple roles abroad.

Leam Richardson, formerly at Wigan Athletic, and Notts County head coach Luke Williams both currently have odds of 12/1.

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