Report: Birmingham leading Leeds in Jake Clarke-Salter race

Jake Clarke-Salter of Vitesse during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Vitesse Arnhem and FC Groningen at Gelredome on August 12, 2018 in Arnhem, The Netherlands

Birmingham City are reportedly hopeful of beating Leeds United to a loan deal for Jake Clarke-Salter.

Jake Clarke-Salter of Vitesse during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Vitesse Arnhem and FC Groningen at Gelredome on August 12, 2018 in Arnhem, The Netherlands

According to a report from The Telegraph, Birmingham are now hopeful that they will beat Leeds and Swansea to the loan signing of Chelsea defender Jake Clarke-Salter this summer.

The Telegraph reports that the Blues plan to loan Clarke-Salter to an English club for the coming season after an impressive spell in the Eredivisie last term, and there appear to be a number of Championship sides interested in the 21-year-old.

 

Leeds and the Swans have shown interest in the former Sunderland loanee, but The Telegraph suggests that it is the Blues who now lead the race as Pep Clotet looks for his third addition of the summer, and his first defensive signing since captain Michael Morrison left the club on a free transfer earlier in the window.

It will be interesting to see what the Elland Road faithful make of the club's former assistant boss reportedly beating them to Clarke-Salter's signature, if Birmingham do indeed manage to sign the youngster.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa takes his seat before the match during the Pre-season Friendly match between York City and Leeds United on July 10, 2019 in York, England.

After a mixed start to pre-season, there are plenty of Leeds fans feeling concerned about the defence. Pontus Jansson has left for Brentford, and Ben White has been the only signing made in that area of the field. 

Like Clarke-Salter, White appears to have a bright future ahead of him, potentially in the top flight. But he goes into this season having not played at a level higher than League One, so it is something of a roll of the dice to have the Brighton loanee replace Jansson, especially when Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi have both come in for criticism at times.

Jake Clarke-Salter of England gestures during the 2019 UEFA U-21 Group C match between Croatia and England at San Marino Stadium on June 24, 2019 in Serravalle, Italy.

However, Clarke-Salter's arrival would probably not alleviate all of those concerns anyway given that he himself has only made 11 appearances in the Championship. He was excellent last season, but he is another youngster who has a lot to prove during the coming campaign.

And, as things stand, it appears that he will get that chance to prove himself with Birmingham.

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