Birmingham boss Pep Clotet keen to keep Chelsea loanee Jake Clarke-Salter

Boss Pep Clotet insists Birmingham will do all they can to keep Jake Clarke-Salter in January.

Chelsea are reportedly ready to recall the defender next month if he does not see more action at St Andrew’s.

Clarke-Salter has made just five league starts this term – including the last four games – but is set for an extended run in the side, with Marc Roberts likely to be out until January after suffering an ankle injury against Millwall on Saturday.

Clotet has been happy with the the 22-year-old’s contribution this term and wants to keep him for the rest of the season.

He said: “The club will have that discussion with Chelsea – probably the club will do everything in its power to hold onto him.

“My job is to make sure we are covered, we have very good players in the academy as well for that position. Whatever happens we carry on.

“I don’t know the contractual side, I don’t know if they (Chelsea) can do it (recall) on their own, I am not aware of that – I don’t think so.

“I have had two meetings with Tore Andre Flo. He understood the process, he understood how hard it was for Jake in the beginning.

“I was very honest with them. I said ‘Listen, the way we work as soon as something happens and he steps into the team that’s going to be on him. If he does well he is going to keep his place’.”

Former England Under-21 skipper Clarke-Salter has been watched by Chelsea’s loan coach Flo this term and Clotet feels Birmingham is the best place for him.

“He has seen a lot of the games with Jake, probably all of them and he always valued the fact I was honest with him and with Chelsea,” he said, ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship trip to Reading.

“I was honest as well with things Jake is doing very well and things Jake can do better. We are helping Jake to get better and Jake and Flo bought massively into that.

“I think we have a good relationship when it comes to working with their player.

“I think they must be enjoying the fact Jake is playing and playing very well at the moment.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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