Port Vale manager John Askey will face a huge challenge if he is to sign former loanee Mitch Clark on a permanent basis this summer.

The 20-year-old Nuneaton-born defender has spent most of the season on loan at Vale Park and has now been released upon his return to parent club Aston Villa earlier this week.

The72 previously reported that Port Vale were keen to offer the player a deal with the club for next season, however, the latest reports from Birmingham Live suggest that Vale could face competition to land the defender from both the English Premier League and Sky Bet Championship, as well as from European clubs.

It has been suggested that at least three clubs playing at the top level of football in their respective nations may have enquired about Clark’s availability with further interest expected to be received in the coming weeks.

Clark made just one first team appearance for Aston Villa which came in a Carabao Cup tie against Wigan Athletic back in 2017. His loan spell at Sky Bet League Two club Port Vale proved to be much more fruitful with the defender making 45 appearances for Askey’s side in all competitions.

Vale boss Askey recently told the Stoke-On-Trent Live that he is looking for quality over quantity this summer if he is offered a managerial contract for next season with Clark being a player who would certainly fit that bill.