OXFORD United's new manager will not be in place before this weekend's home game with Peterborough United.

A preferred candidate has been selected, according to a statement released on the club's website by owner Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth - but the appointment is not imminent.

He said: "I spent time last week talking to an extremely strong shortlist and then met with our preferred final candidate over the weekend.

“He has indicated that he wants to come here and I think that provided we can sort out the finer points of the contract then he would have a real 'wow' factor for the fans and send very strong signals out that we mean business and are serious about moving this club into a higher division.

“The only issue right now is the timing once again.

"Hopefully it will become clear after the appointment why it has taken so long because it is not an easy situation.

"I do not want to ask fans for their patience again because they have already shown plenty and I thank them for that.

"We believe we will be able to announce an appointment next week and therefore think it right to let Derek Fazackerley and the players know this, so they can prepare for a big game against Peterborough on Saturday with no distractions."

It is now 50 days since the U's sacked Pep Clotet - during which the side have lost five of their seven games in all competitions.

Thanakarnjanasuth's takeover, completed almost three weeks ago, has complicated matters, with the new chairman taking charge of the recruitment process.

When he was unveiled, the Thai businessman hoped to make a decision within "a day or two".

In an update a week ago, Thanakarnjanasuth asked for patience from supporters and wanted to meet candidates during a trip to the UK over the weekend before making a decision.

Charlton boss Karl Robinson remains the favourite with the bookmakers, although when asked about the link last week he replied: "I know nothing about that."