Portsmouth defender Matt Clarke is attracting interest from a number of Championship clubs including Leeds and Stoke, but StokeonTrentLive report that the latter are put off by the ever-increasing value of the defender.
Clarke has had a very impressive season for Pompey, helping them to lift the Checkatrade trophy and finish in the play-offs.
Stoke have been monitoring Clarke since January according to reports, but now face a battle for his signature, and the interest shown will only cause Portsmouth to increase their asking price.
It would be a hefty fee for a player who has played just four matches above the third tier, but at 22 and with a host of consistent performances behind him, one of the aforementioned clubs could present the required funds.
Matt Clarke is one of the best players outside the top two divisions, and it is little surprise that his performances have led Portsmouth to seek £4 million for his services, as he is a key player for Kenny Jackett’s side.
Both Stoke and Leeds – who are most likely to sign him – are in need of a defender, and at 22 he presents long-term value, both on the field and off it.
However, £4 million is a lot of money for a League One player with minimal Championship experience, and it may deter Leeds who will have to be frugal this summer.
Stoke on the other hand must also be wise in how they spend their money. They still have parachute payments coming in but also have a number of high earners on the wage bill, and could perhaps go for a tried and tested defender instead – like the signing of Danny Batth last summer.