Sky Bet Championship side Stoke City are set to step up their interest in Matt Clarke in the summer, if Portsmouth fail to win promotion from League One this season.
The 22-year old has been a hugely important player for Kenny Jackett’s side this season, and won every single one of Pompey’s end-of-season awards after a mightily impressive campaign.
The central defender’s contract at Fratton Park runs out at the end next season, with Nathan Jones identifying the player as a summer transfer target for the Potters.
And now, reports from the Stoke Sentinel claim that the Staffordshire club are set to “intensify” their interest in the centre-half, if Pompey fail to win promotion to the Championship this season.
The Blues currently trail Sunderland by a goal to nil on aggregate in the League One play-off semi-final, ahead of the return fixture at Fratton Park on Thursday afternoon.
Stoke are said to be interested in signing up to six or seven players this summer, as Jones looks to reshape his squad in preparation of the 2019/20 campaign.
It would be a massive statement of intent and a real coup if Stoke were to lure Clarke away from Portsmouth in the summer.
He has had such a good season, and it speaks volumes that he won every single award at the end of the season ahead of the likes of Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis.
He is at a good age, and has plenty of time to develop as a player, and a move to Stoke could be beneficial for his progress.