Liverpool academy coach Michael Beale has reportedly held talks with League One side Oxford United over their vacant managerial position.
Beale rejoined the Reds in September after a short stint as Rogerio Ceni’s assistant at Brazilian side Sao Paulo, and has been operating in a wide-ranging role at Kirkby.
But the former U23s manager could be set to depart after just five months back at the club, with Oxford seeking a new man in the dugout.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Beale has been permitted to hold talks with the U’s with a view to taking over from the departed Pep Clotet.
He is said to be interested in the role due to Oxford’s policy of promoting young players, with the signing of Cameron Brannagan from Liverpool last month a clear example of this.
However, Beale is “happy” in his current position, and “would want certain conditions in place at Oxford before he would leave the Reds for a second time.”
The Englishman has already turned down offers to become manager at an unnamed League Two side and assistant for a club in League One, both in December.
It is clear that he is content with his duties on Merseyside, and it would take an attractive offer to convince him to leave.
David Unsworth, former interim manager at Everton, has ruled himself out of the running, but both Craig Bellamy and Paul Ince have expressed an interest in the job.
Simon Grayson, Mark Warburton and Frank Lampard have also been touted as possible candidates, highlighting the competition Beale is facing.
But Oxford owner Darryl Eales, who conducted talks with Beale, has insisted he would take his time in making an appointment.
“We’ve made no decision and nobody has been our No. 1 target in that sense, because it would be disrespectful to the process. We will take our time,” he said.
“The bar has to be someone who we feel fits with the club and will do a better job than [caretaker manager] Derek Fazackerley.
“We’re just trying to make sure we get the right fit with the philosophy of the club.”
Liverpool already saw first-team elite development coach Pepijn Lijnders leave last month, with the Dutchman taking over at Eredivisie side NEC Nijmegen.