Michael Appleton retains an interest in signing Liam Walker, but the Oxford United head coach says the midfielder has to take the initiative.

A move for the 26-year-old is complicated by the fact he is contracted to Israeli club Bnei Yehuda in Tel Aviv.

The start to their season has been postponed due to the conflict in Gaza, and Walker spent time training with United last month.

Appleton believes the Gibraltar international, whom he signed for Portsmouth in 2012, would improve the squad this month, but has made it clear it is up to the player to extract himself from the situation first.

He said: “To be honest the ball isn’t really in our court, it’s with the boy and his dad.

“It’s up to them to basically make sure Liam is either a free agent or he gets his contract paid up from the club he’s playing for at the minute.

“When that happens then obviously there may be an opportunity to do something.

“Until then there’s nothing that can be done.”

Walker is still understood to be in the UK, but is not training with the U’s, with Appleton not feeling it was an appropriate arrangement while the player was contracted to another club.

There is also the issue of international clearance.

Appleton said: “I think if the player is out of contract the clearance will become a formality, but we can’t even find out until he becomes a free agent.”