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Port Vale eye permanent Jones deal but Smith could leave

(Picture: Action Images)

Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite says the club are keen to sign on-loan Birmingham striker Alex Jones on a permanent deal.

The 22-year-old hitman, who joined the club over summer until January, is the club’s leading scorer with an impressive eight goals in 12 appearances.

Jones is yet to break into the first-team at the Blues, but his impressive form is certainly eye-catching and the Valiants are keen to sort a deal quickly as they chase a play-off place.

Smurthwaite said: “I’ve spoken to Birmingham and put forward a proposal.

“I think the way forward is to acquire him as a contracted player in January.

“I’m in the process of building a football club. He’s embraced the club very well. He’s a great lad and he’d be a great addition to our squad.”

Vale are currently seventh in League One and if you’re confident they could be in line for promotion, remember that you can bet on football.

However, while Smurthwaite attempts to build a squad he hopes boss Bruno Ribeiro can lead to promotion, he knows he might not be able to keep hold of some of his prize assets, including defender Nathan Smith.

The homegrown 20-year-old, who was named the EFL’s Young Player of the Month in August, has been in imperious form since making his debut at the start of this season, and was recently rewarded a new three-year contract.

Like Jones, Smith has been a stand-out performer so far this season and Smurthwaite said: “I’ll be honest, if the right offer is made and Nathan wants to go, he’ll be leaving us in January.

“There’s some interest from the Premier League.

“This lad isn’t motivated by money, he’s motivated by the craft and if it’s not right for him, he won’t go.

“When the right opportunity comes for him, Port Vale will be recompensed but he will control that decision, not us.”

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