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.
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.