By Wayne Veysey

21st Sep, 2020 | 8:28am

Exclusive: French club set to sign Chelsea 22-year-old after Nottingham Forest swoop

Chelsea defender Jake Clarke-Salter is close to agreeing a move to French top-flight club Brest in what would be a major Nottingham Forest blow, Football Insider can reveal.

The 22-year-old has had strong interest from Championship clubs keen to take him on loan this season.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Clarke-Salter is in talks to join Brest and a move may be sealed this week.

The Ligue 1 club are ready to hand the England Under-21 international a major role in their team this season.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was impressed with Clarke-Salter in pre-season after a series of impressive displays in friendlies.

He has now given him the green light to go after turning down some options earlier in the summer.

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Forest as well as former loan club Birmingham City have been among the clubs trying to take Clarke-Salter for the campaign.

The young centre-back signed a new Chelsea contract last summer that runs until 2022.

He then agreed a loan move to Birmingham and made a positive impression during his 23 appearances either side of a dislocated shoulder.

Clarke-Salter has previously spent time on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, Sunderland and Bristol Rovers.

The England Under-21 captain is highly regarded at Chelsea, but is behind an army of senior centre-backs for the first team positions.

Lampard paired Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma in central defence in yesterday’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, with Fikayo Tomori replacing the Dane after he was sent off.

In other news, two senior Chelsea stars due to leave in part-exchange for Edouard Mendy after terms agreed.