Everton offer Baxter career lifeline

Former Everton academy graduate Jose Baxter is set to return to the Premier League club on a one-year contract.

Baxter, who was once considered 'the next Wayne Rooney' when he made his Premier League debut at 16 years old in 2008, is currently serving a one-year drugs ban – after testing positive for cocaine while at Sheffield United.

After being found guilty, he was subsequently released by the League One side but under 23 Toffees head coach David Unsworth has offered the 24-year-old the chance to return once his ban comes to an end in the off-season.

"He will be given the same opportunities as everyone else. If that means he moves on to a Championship club or League One club later on, that will be down to Jose," he told reporters.

"We want to help because that is the sort of club we are. He is one of our own, but I have said to Jose, in no uncertain terms, that this is your last chance."

Meanwhile, Baxter admitted he was simply grateful at the opportunity afforded to him during a low point of his football career.

"I'm speechless. Not many people get a second chance and here's me with a third chance," the attacking midfielder told The Times.