Everton Under-23's manager David Unsworth is reportedly interested in taking up the managerial reins at Barnsley or Bradford City after rejecting an offer to become the new boss of Oxford United.

Unsworth, who enjoyed and endured a tremendously difficult spell as caretaker boss at Goodison Park earlier this season, is on the lookout for his first senior managerial job despite snubbing the chance to assume control at Oxford and is said to be keen on taking charge at either Oakwell or Valley Parade, according to the Yorkshire Post.

Barnsley are currently searching for a successor to Paul Heckingbottom, who was appointed manager of Leeds United earlier this week, while Bradford are in need of a new boss after parting company with Stuart McCall last month.

Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley is said to be the early favourite to take over from Heckingbottom, while Neil Redfearn and Simon Grayson have also been touted as possible candidates for the Barnsley job, the publication adds.

Former Wigan Athletic manager Gary Caldwell is interested in taking control at Bradford [Sky Sports], and Unsworth's lack of first-team management experience may count against him when compared to his rivals for both positions.

Tom Davies, Jonjoe Kenny and Beni Baningime are just three of a number of young Everton prospects that have benefited and flourished under the Unsworth's tutelage as 'Rhino' guided his Under-23 side to the Premier League division 2 title last season.

The former left-back did not attempt to hide his desire of succeeding Ronald Koeman at Everton, but while Bill Kenwright was open to giving the 44-year-old a sustained crack of the whip on Merseyside, but the powers that be at Goodison Park eventually decided to place Allardyce in the hotseat.

Asked about Unsworth's potential exit, the former England manager reminded him of the privileged position he is already in at Everton, but admits he must "take the plunge" soon if he truly has designs on becoming a first-team manager.

"I think David's expressed his will to be a manager, hasn't he?" he replied, per Everton's official Periscope channel. "So I'm not so sure my opinion makes any difference whether he should or shouldn't stay because I haven't been here long enough.

"He's got a great position at the club at the moment and that's a very difficult decision for him to give up - I'm sure about that because Everton U23s is a very privileged position and he's done very well in it. But if his desire is to be a manager, then somewhere along the line he's going to have to take the plunge."

David Unsworth
Unsworth enjoyed and endured a stint as caretaker manager at Everton earlier this season Getty Images