Clarke in discussions over new Pompey deal

Pompey defender Matt Clarke Picture: Joe Pepler

TALKS are taking place over a new deal for Matt Clarke.

And Kenny Jackett has underlined he’s under no pressure to cash in on any of his Pompey assets.

The manager has acknowledged, however, he can’t rule out a future away from Fratton Park for Clarke.

The defender has been linked with a host of Championship and Premier League sides, including Watford, Leeds, Brighton Hull and Reading.

The 21-year-old has made it clear he’s not in any rush to leave Pompey, though, where he is established as a first-choice central defender alongside Christian Burgess.

Clarke is under contract until the summer of next year, after arriving as part of the deal which took Adam Webster to Ipswich in 2016.

The Blues boss believes there is dialogue over extending one of his key figure’s existing terms.

He said: ‘I’m sure that (a new deal) is something that’s being discussed.’

Jackett is realistic about the difficulty Pompey would face in keeping Clarke if a side from the top two tiers came knocking for his services.

He knows teams will be keeping tabs on a player who has once again impressed this season.

But Jackett feels the fact there’s no clamour from the club’s owners to cash in on their bankable assets strengthens the Blues’ position if such a scenario arises.

He added: ‘You never know (whether Clarke could be sold in the future).

‘Every club will be looking and seeing if people pick off their best players.

‘The good thing is, from my point of view, there’s not any pressure whatsoever to sell a player.

‘That helps to put the club in the driving seat.’

– JORDAN CROSS

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