Colchester United want to keep midfielder Billy Clifford until the end of the season.

The on-loan Chelsea youngster has impressed since arriving from Stamford Bridge, last month.

Clifford, 20, has played three games for the U’s and has indicated he would be open to extending his temporary spell there.

Boss Joe Dunne said: “I’ve spoken to Chelsea this week about extending his loan spell until the end of the season.

“It’s the international break this week so we need one or two people to come back to try and get something done there.”

Meanwhile, Dunne is hoping to sign a left-back on loan before tomorrow’s game against Preston North End.

The U’s manager wants to provide cover for John White and has been in talks to bring the young defender in on an emergency loan deal.

“We’re in the process of getting some cover in at left-back at the moment,” said Dunne.

“He’s away on international duty at the moment but I’m hoping to get something fixed up over the next couple of days.”

See Friday's Gazette for all of the latest U's news, including a full preview of their home clash with Preston North End tomorrow and right-back Brian Wilson on making 100 league appearances for Colchester.