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Leeds set to miss out on transfer target

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Leeds are set to miss out on transfer target Matt Clarke from Portsmouth, because they cannot match the £6 million offer Brighton have made for the defender, Team Talk have reported.

The Times reported in April that Leeds were interested in a £4 million move for the centre back, but it now appears that they will be beaten to his signature by Premier League opposition.

According to reports, Brighton are planning on spending £6million on Clarke as a replacement for Lewis Dunk, who is expected to take Harry Maguire’s place at Leicester, with the England centre back expected to move to one of the two Manchester clubs in the summer transfer window.

Clarke has made 175 appearances for Portsmouth since moving to Fratton Park, initially on loan, from Ipswich in the summer of 2015.

It was thought that Leeds were keen to bring Clarke in over the summer to strengthen their central defensive options, with regular choices in that position: Liam Cooper; Pontus Jansson and Gaetano Barardi all missing parts of last season due to injury.

The verdict

This has to be seen as a blow for Leeds.

Centre back was definitely a position they needed to look into strengthening in the summer, particularly with the continued uncertainty around the future of Pontus Jansson.

Clarke is someone who would certainly have fit that bill, being a dominant and assured centre back, with a raft of experience for someone who is just 22-years-old.

In the end however, it was always going to be difficult for a Championship side – even one with the size and ambition of Leeds – to complete this signing once Premier League interest in Clarke became apparent.


UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Leeds set to miss out on transfer target

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