By Russell Edge

17th Sep, 2020 | 4:18pm

Exclusive: Oxford United make approach to sign Derby County ace after Cocu talks

Oxford United are among a trio of clubs who have made an approach to sign Derby County winger Josh Shonibare on loan, Football Insider understands.

The 22-year-old is in high demand before the transfer window shuts last summer after he was given the green light to leave temporarily by manager Phillip Cocu.

A source at Pride Park has told Football Insider that League One Oxford and Dutch outfits Go Ahead Eagles and Roda JC have all registered their interest in taking the promising talent on board for the rest of the season.

It is understood that both Eerste Division sides have made direct contact with former Netherlands star Cocu about Shonibare as he weighs up where to send the young forward.

A move to Oxford could see the Rams’ starlet link up with former Derby under-23s coach Craig Short, who left his position at Pride Park in August to join The Us’ first-team coaching staff.

Shonibare joined Derby from semi-professional side Greenwich Borough back in 2018 and has established himself as a regular among the club’s under-23s side.

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He kicked off the 2020/21 campaign in style as he netted in the young Rams’ 3-3 draw with Manchester City under-23s in their Premier League 2 clash.

He is yet to make his first-team bow for Cocu’s men but he was named on the bench for the club’s League Cup win over League Two minnows Barrow.

Having been given the go-ahead to leave Derby in a bid to play first-team football, Shonibare could have a selection of teams to pick from.

Oxford, who finished fourth in League One last season, started their new campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Lincoln, while Roda and Go Ahead Eagles are three games into their seasons.

In other Derby County news, the Rams are closing in on re-signing a former star.