West Bromwich Albion are plotting a move to sign Brighton defender Matt Clarke this summer, according to StokeOnTrentLive.
The Lowdown: Familiar territory
The 25-year-old has now entered the final 12 months of his contract at the Amex, and after failing to make a breakthrough into Graham Potter’s first team since his arrival, has now been linked with a Seagulls exit.
The centre-back has spent the last three seasons out on loan in the Championship with both Derby County and the Baggies, and it sounds as if Steve Bruce is keen to try and bring him back to the Hawthorns in the weeks ahead.
The Latest: West Brom eyeing Clarke
StokeOnTrentLive are reporting that two second-tier clubs have been put ‘on alert about the availability’ of Clarke, with West Brom, alongside Stoke City, both name-checked.
The source states that Bruce has ‘refused to rule out’ a move for the 6 foot 1 ace despite already being ‘well-stocked’ with central defenders, though there are ‘other interested parties’.
It’s expected that the Brighton man will be ‘available’ for a ‘loan or permanent’ switch this window after falling out of favour on the south coast.
The Verdict: No brainer
The Baggies do have plenty of centre-backs in the building with the likes of Semi Ajayi and Dara O’Shea, but after Clarke’s displays on loan, Bruce surely couldn’t turn down the chance to re-sign him if the opportunity is there.
During his spell in the Midlands, the Seagulls star, dubbed an ‘exceptional’ player by Sky Sports pundit Keith Andrews, averaged 3.1 clearances each league game and won 3.9 aerial duels per match, via WhoScored.
Should West Brom re-sign Clarke this summer?
Whether the position is a priority or not, this is exactly the profile of player that the 61-year-old needs in his backline and so should aim to fend off his competitor and get this deal wrapped up as quickly as possible.
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