OXFORD United have approached four different Premier League clubs this summer about securing loan moves for their young players.

While Michael Appleton and his staff continue to pursue a variety of targets on permanent contracts, temporary deals have also reaped dividends for the U’s.

Kemar Roofe, who joined from West Bromwich Albion in 2015, was the first to become a big hit – later returning on a permanent deal before moving on to Leeds United for a £3m fee.

Links with other top-flight clubs have been built since, with United borrowing players from Everton, Arsenal, Stoke City and West Ham United.

The Hammers are one of the clubs approached this summer, in an attempt to bring Toni Martinez back after the striker scored three goals in nine starts last season.

Premier League clubs usually delay decisions until mid-July, but Appleton knows the importance of staking a claim early in the close season.

The head coach said: “We’ve shown interest and spoken to four different Premier League clubs about young players we potentially want on loan.

“I’m guessing half-a-dozen clubs have done the same.

“What the Premier League clubs tend to do is have them for the first couple of weeks of pre-season and then decide who they go out to.”

Even if United are ultimately unsuccessful at bringing Martinez back, his successful stint strengthens their case to other clubs.

In that respect, Jonjoe Kenny’s involvement in England Under 20s’ World Cup win on Sunday also did Appleton’s argument no harm.

The full back started 19 games to help the U’s win automatic promotion in the 2015/16 campaign.

It represents three-quarters of the 20-year-old’s senior league starts, while the likes of George Baldock and Jordan Graham returned to MK Dons and Wolves respectively rejuvenated after spells with United.

“It’s about putting your pitch across to the clubs why you think Oxford United is the right place for them,” Appleton said.

“We’ve spoken to the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool especially in the past and used the likes of Jordan Graham, Jonjoe Kenny and George Baldock as examples of players who have gone on and done well.”

  • OXFORD United are advertising for a new head of academy position.

It has opened up due to Les Taylor, who previously occupied the role, switching to become the U’s head of coaching for next season.

The closing date for applications is Friday, June 23.