LIVERPOOL academy coach Michael Beale is the latest name to be linked with an interview for the Oxford United manager’s job.

He met U’s chairman Darryl Eales earlier this week after the Premier League giants granted permission for contact to be made, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Beale has not managed a senior side, but has had two spells on Merseyside either side of a stint as No 2 with Sao Paulo.

Craig Bellamy remains the odds-on favourite.

The Cardiff City coach appeared on Sky TV’s ‘The Debate’ and when asked directly if there had been contact with Oxford United, Bellamy replied: “I don’t want to tell you that.”

Bellamy added: “It’s no secret that I have always wanted to become a manager.

“It doesn’t bother me what league. I want it to be a good club with good owners, someone that is going to back you and give you time.”

The common theme with all those who have emerged as contenders is a track record of developing young players.

One potential candidate with links to United who could fit the bill is Jim Magilton.

The ex-U’s midfielder promoted several youngsters during his time in charge of Ipswich Town and has spent the last four years as elite performance director at the Irish FA in Belfast.

However, one surprise name to appear in the betting is Sol Campbell.

The former Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur defender, who would be looking for a first managerial job, was reported by Sky to have held ‘preliminary talks’ with United.