Portsmouth rivals Oxford 'in advanced talks' with manager hotly-fancied for Fratton Park position last January

Just one point separate Pompey and managerless Oxford United in the League One standings

Notts County boss Luke WilliamsNotts County boss Luke Williams
Notts County boss Luke Williams

Pompey rivals Oxford are reportedly closing in on a new managerial appointment. And it’s a name Blues fans will be familiar with after going through the exact same process less than a year ago.

Indeed, according to Football Insider, the U’s are in advanced talks with Notts County boss Luke Williams, who was hotly-fancied to be named as Danny Cowley’s Fratton Park successor back in January.

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That move never materialised, though, with the Blues appointing John Mousinho as head coach and never looking back. However, Pompey will, no doubt, be intrigued with the latest Kassam Stadium developments, especially with the U’s being their closest challengers at present for this season's League One title.

According to reports, Oxford ramped up discussions with Williams over the past 24 hours and are closing in on a deal that will see the 42-year-old end his 17-month stay at Meadow Lane.

Williams has enjoyed huge success with Notts County since his June 2022 appointment, leading the Magpies back to the EFL for the first time since the 2018-19 season with an attractive brand of football that has attracted many admirers.

The Nottingham side are currently fifth in League Two - eight points behind leaders Stockport, but well placed to be involved in the automatic promotion hunt at the end of the season.

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Oxford have been without a manager since Liam Manning - another linked with Pompey at the start of the year - opted to replace Nigel Pearson as Bristol City manager last week.

Since then, Craig Short has taken interim charge of the U’s. He won his two matches in charge, reducing Pompey’s advantage at the top of the table to just one point.

Frank Lampard was heavily linked with the Kassam Stadium role - but now it appears that Williams could be the man the U’s will turn to to maintain their pursuit of Championship football.

Like Pompey, Oxford are next in action on Saturday, November 25, when they travel to Cheltenham. The Blues play host to Blackpool on their return from the international break.