That’s according to a report by Coventry Live, who claim that, despite Chelsea possessing an option to extend the 24-year-old’s contract at Stamford Bridge for a further year, Thomas Tuchel has now decided against activating this clause.
That means the centre-back is set to leave west London on a free transfer at the end of the month, thus handing Leeds United a green light to sign him.
The report goes on to state that Leeds – as well as Coventry City, Sheffield United, PSV Eindhoven and Club Brugge – have all been keeping a very close eye on the situation of the former England U21 international, with it being expected that the defender will receive a host of offers upon the expiry of his Chelsea contract.
Considering just how talented a player Clarke-Salter very much appears to be, the fact that Victor Orta has now been given the green light to make a move for the centre-back will certainly come as a huge boost to the Whites’ sporting director.
Indeed, the £1.8m-rated defender highly impressed over his 29 Championship appearances on loan at Coventry this season, helping the Sky Blues keep five clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.2 interceptions, 2.3 tackles, 2.7 clearances, 40.1 passes and winning 6.6 duels – at a success rate of 61% – per game.
These returns saw the £5k-per-week talent average a SofaScore match rating of 6.90, ranking him as Mark Robins’ tenth-best performer in the second tier of English football – playing a crucial role in City’s impressive top-half finish in the league.
Furthermore, the former Chelsea and England captain, John Terry, is also a huge admirer of the 24-year-old, with the legendary centre-back previously claiming that Clarke-Salter reminded him of his younger self, stating after the defender’s debut for Chelsea:
“Jake has a great attitude. I remember watching him a couple of years ago being in control of the game and a really vocal player. He reminds me a bit of myself. He is doing great and I hope he goes on to take my position and get in the first team. It was great for him to make his debut.”
However, the fact that the player who Robins dubbed “absolutely outstanding” has now not made the grade at Chelsea should certainly not put Orta off a deal this summer, as the likes of Tariq Lamptey, Tino Livramento, Declan Rice, Eddie Nketiah, Tammy Abraham and even Leeds’ own Patrick Bamford all fall into this category.
Indeed, it would very much appear as if the Blues’ loss could once again be the Whites’ gain, as landing Clarke-Salter on a free would undoubtedly represent fantastic business for the Spaniard – with the 24-year-old certainly looking to be a player who boasts a great amount of potential.