Oxford United can confirm that Head Coach Michael Appleton is to leave the club to take up a new role at Leicester City.
Darryl Eales, club chairman, said: "We are all disappointed to see Michael go, but I fully understand that the chance to work in the Premier League was an opportunity he felt he couldn't turn down.
"I'd like to thank him for all his efforts at Oxford United over these past three years and he leaves with my best wishes for his future. I brought Michael in as Manager the day I took over the club and I believe it is our partnership and friendship that has provided the stable foundation from which the club has progressed in the past three seasons. One promotion and two visits to Wembley tell their own story of the success we have achieved, and I am sure everyone at the club wishes him well at Leicester.
"Our priority now is to appoint a new manager who will continue our excellent progression and will build on our strong platform which will lead us towards our promotion to the Championship.
"We have stability across an excellent coaching and recruitment team, we have an outstanding squad of young players, and, contrary to rumours, we have funds available to strengthen the squad.
"The timing is not exactly perfect, as it does hamper our recruitment plans in the short term but, once the new manager is appointed, we will move quickly to strengthen the squad even further.
"Oxford United is seen throughout the game as an attractive, progressive club, and I am sure we will attract a high-quality candidate who will develop our positive playing philosophy and focus on the development of young players.
"The Board would like to thank fans for their patience and understanding and for the countless messages of support. The future remains bright as we continue to build on the progress since 2014 and we should all look forward to an exciting and successful 2017/18 campaign."
Michael Appleton said:
"I would like to place on record my appreciation for all the support I have had from the board, staff, players and fans of Oxford United during my three years here.
"In particular, I'd like to pay tribute to Darryl, who has been unfailingly supportive to me, making the funds available to build a team which won promotion and went to Wembley twice. I have been very happy at Oxford, and would squash any ill-informed speculation that my move has anything to do with the playing budget I'd been allocated, or any uncertainty around the club's ownership. This could not be further from the truth.
"The opportunity to move to a Premier League club was something I felt that I couldn't turn down, which I hope fans will appreciate. I wish everyone at Oxford the best of luck for the future, and I feel sure that the foundations are there for the club to achieve more success in the coming years."