Stoke City are keen on signing Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Matt Clarke, Stoke-on-Trent Live has revealed. Clarke, 25, spent last season on loan with West Brom in the Championship. The centre-back featured 33 times in the league, scoring once as he helped the Baggies claim an eventual 10th place finish. Now though, Stoke-on-Trent Live report that Clarke is ‘expected to be available’ this summer, either in another loan move on in a permanent move, and that Stoke City are among a number of Championship clubs keen.

Clarke is a graduate of the Ipswich Town youth academy but moved to Portsmouth in 2015 where he racked up well over 100 league appearances, before being snapped up by Brighton in 2019. But he’s yet to make his debut for the Seagulls having spent the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons on loan with Derby County. Now though, Clarke could be about to seal a permanent exit from the south coast club, and Stoke City could be the club to land him.

Another shrewd addition. Michael O’Neill has bolstered his Stoke City defensive ranks with the signings of Aden Flint and Harry Clarke this summer. He still has Harry Souttar out injured but the potential addition of Clarke would be an impressive one – he’s still a fairly young player and he’ll surely be ready to settle down with a new, permanent club after spending several seasons out on loan. He’s a commanding and well-rounded centre-back and alongside someone like Flint, Stoke City could have a really dominant centre-back pairing.

But the Potters will do well to fend off what will surely be widespread interest in Clarke, who’s now played in the last three Championship campaigns. Former Stoke City goalkeeper Shay Given says the signing would benefit the club. Stoke City face Blackpool in the Championship this weekend.