David Unsworth gestures on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Everton and West Ham United.
Everton have given Oxford United permission to talk to David Unsworth, reports Sky Sports, as it becomes increasingly likely he will be named their new manager.
The U's are searching for someone to replace Pep Clotet as boss after the Spaniard was sacked on January 22 following the 2-1 home defeat to Bury in League One.
After his spell as Toffees caretaker earlier this season Unsworth is now back in charge of the Under-23s and here are three players from that squad that the 44-year-old could target for Oxford.
Everton midfielder Beni Baningime (C) controls the ball during the English Premier League football match against Chelsea.
Clearly a favourite of Unsworth's as he quickly called the midfielder up to the senior squad after replacing Ronald Koeman in the dugout to give Baningime his debut.
The 19-year-old impressed during his nine first team appearances, but has fallen down the pecking order under Sam Allardyce and while the Merseysiders are unlikely to want to lose the teenager permanently, a loan could perhaps be possible.
The former Sheffield United forward rejoined his boyhood club last summer after serving a season-long drugs ban, but now aged 25 it is unlikely Baxter will ever move back into the first team.
Out of contract this summer the Englishman has impressed Unsworth during his time with the Under-23s and may want to repay the faith shown in him by linking up with the coach at the Kassam Stadium.
Jose Baxter battles with Jack Colback during the pre season friendly match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United.
Recently recalled into the first team by Allardyce under the recommendation of Unsworth, it seemed more to do with necessity than anything with injury to Leighton Baines leaving Everton short at left-back this term.
Now 24-years-old Garbutt may have missed his chance to make it with the Toffees, but at Oxford this ex-Fulham and Wigan Athletic loanee could really shine.
Luke Garbutt of Everton walks onto the field ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 match against FC Dynamo Kyiv.