Alex Jones: Port Vale want to sign Birmingham City striker permanently
League One Port Vale are trying to sign on-loan striker Alex Jones permanently from Birmingham City, says chairman Norman Smurthwaite.
The 22-year-old is Vale's top scorer so far this season, having scored eight times in 12 league games.
Jones' deal is set to expire in January but Vale are keen to keep him, and would prefer to sign him outright.
"I think the way forward is to acquire him as a contracted player in January," Smurthwaite told BBC Radio Stoke.
"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.
"I've spoken to Birmingham and put forward a proposal."
Vale could lose Smith
Smurthwaite says one of the club's brightest young talents may end up leaving.
Defender Nathan Smith, 20, won the EFL's Young Player of the Month for August after making his league debut at the start of the season and was rewarded with a new three-year contract extension.
"There's some interest from the Premier League," Smurthwaite said.
"I'll be honest, if the right offer is made and Nathan wants to go, he'll be leaving us in January.
"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."