Birmingham want to keep Newcastle loanee Shane Ferguson, insists Clark

The Blues boss says he is keen to have the 21-year-old back at the club next season, but admits it may not be possible as The Magpies rate the youngster so highly
Birmingham City manager Lee Clark wants to keep Newcastle loanee Shane Ferguson until the end of the season and would even try to organise a deal for his side’s next campaign.

Ferguson joined Birmingham at the end of February in a deal which initially lasts until the April 1, but Clark has been so impressed by the 21-year-old’s performances that he will try to extend his stay at the club.

Clark did, however, admit that a permanent move would be out of the question and it would be tricky to even extend the loan as Newcastle hold Ferguson in such high regard.

"Whether it's possible, I don't know," Clark told Sky Sports.

"Shane is very highly rated by Newcastle and has just signed a long-term contract there. But it is definitely something to talk about between the two clubs.

"From my point of view, Shane is a Premier League quality player.

"He has done very well already in the short space of time he has been here and I think he's enjoyed himself, going out and getting regular competitive football.

"If it is doable, then of course I'd love to have him back, for the season if possible. There is no chance of anything permanent, they hold him in such high regard."

The Blues’ boss worked with Ferguson during his time as a coach at Newcastle, and feels another season playing regularly would be much more beneficial than spending time on the bench at St. James' Park.

"I have known Shane since he was a kid at Newcastle," he added. "As a manager, I have tried to bring him in before.

"I like his attributes. He's an excellent footballer and although he seems so slight he's tenacious. And he's a good character to have about the place.

"What happens obviously depends on Newcastle. It's whether they see him taking that step up to the first team on a regular basis next season, or do they want him to carry on learning elsewhere on loan?"