Even while Chris Wilder was releasing a statement saying he had not resigned, bookmakers were already taking bets on who would take over at Oxford United.

Martin Allen, who guided Gillingham to the League Two title last season, is the early favourite and was as short as 6-4 last night.

The 48-year-old is available after being sacked by the Gills in October and was among the large number of managers watching United’s 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Charlton Athletic at the Kassam Stadium last Tuesday.

Another out-of-work boss fancied is Sean O’Driscoll, who has enjoyed success with Bournemouth and Doncaster Rovers, but was sacked by Bristol City in November.

Mickey Lewis, United’s caretaker-boss, also features prominently, although it is unclear whether he would want the job on anything more than an interim basis.

Other League Two managers among the top of the list include Cheltenham Town’s Mark Yates and Justin Edinburgh, who is at Newport County.