OXFORD United are keeping tabs on Everton full back Jonjoe Kenny due to ongoing uncertainty over George Baldock’s future.
Baldock has excelled for the U’s in a season-long loan this season, but there are concerns he could be recalled by MK Dons, with boss Karl Robinson saying last week he had not made up his mind.
The situation has forced United to look for alternatives if the 22-year-old was needed by the Sky Bet Championship strugglers.
They have been strongly linked with Kenny, with one report suggesting he would sign this week ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup fourth round tie with Blackburn Rovers.
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When asked about the speculation this morning, Michael Appleton acknowledged there was an interest in the 18-year-old, who spent time on loan with Wigan Athletic this season.
But United’s head coach insisted nothing was imminent and Kenny was one of several players on the club’s radar.
He said: “He’s certainly someone that we are monitoring.
“We are aware of how delicate the George one is and there are probably at least a dozen players in Jonjoe’s age group that we are monitoring very seriously.
“We’ve done very well as you can see from some of the players we’ve got in that type of age group and he’s one of many we are keeping an eye on.
“Whether opportunities down the line come up to do loan or permanent deals we’ll have to wait and see."
Appleton also suggested if Kenny, or another of their right back targets, joined, it would not necessarily mean Baldock was on his way.
He said: “I think the likelihood is we would have a better opportunity to do it if anything happened with George.
“But as with every player in the team I’ve got half an idea if they ever left for whatever reason who would be in there to replace them.”
United, who signed Jordan Bowery on Friday after he agreed a settlement at Rotherham United, are still playing a waiting game on another Millers forward, Chris Maguire.
The Scot was on loan with the U’s until earlier this month, but while Appleton believes there is still a chance Maguire can come to a similar agreement as Bowery, it remains touch and go.
He said: “There’s been a little bit of progress.
“He has to be comfortable I suppose with what he’s being offered at Rotherham.
“I think if it gets done it will be something very similar to how it has panned out with Jordan.
“It’s in the balance, it’s literally 50-50 and could go either way this week.
“We’ll just have to hope it goes our way.”