Ex-Portsmouth favourite Matt Clarke linked with Sheffield United - having yet to make single outing for Brighton

He left Pompey with everyone's best wishes as he looked to carve out a Premier League career.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 11:01 am

However, Matt Clarke's wait for a top-flight appearance may continue for another year as he's linked with a move away from Brighton having yet to make his debut.

The former Fratton favourite is a reported target for Sheffield United this summer.

According to The Sun's Alan Nixon, the Blades have identified Clarke as a potential replacement for Kean Bryan – and have the funds for a permanent move.

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Following Kenny Jackett's side's failure to be promoted from League One after suffering play-off semi-final defeat to Sunderland, it was inevitable that Clarke would depart.

In total, the ex-Ipswich man made 175 outings and scored nine goals in his four-year spell – helping Pompey claim the League Two title in 2017 and Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley two years later.

A host of clubs were interested but it was the Seagulls who won the race and he signed a four-year deal.

Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler

However, Clarke has been surplus to requirements since his move to Graham Potter's side.

For the past two seasons, he's been loaned to Derby to garner Championship experience.

He was the Rams' player of the season as they secured 10th spot in 2019-20 before proving to be a key performer yet again last campaign as Wayne Rooney's side stayed up on the final day.

Returning to Brighton for pre-season this summer, Clarke finds himself behind captain Lewis Dunk, England defender Ben White, ex-Pompey team-mate Adam Webster, Holland international Joel Veltman and Dan Burn in the pecking order.

Certainly, White's future could dictate whether Clarke is given a chance at Brighton, having been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal during the transfer window.

However, that's seemingly not stopped clubs from making enquiries about Clarke.

Sheffield United are one club credited with interest as they aim for an immediate return to the Premier League.

Should Clarke be sold, Pompey could benefit financially as they’re likely to have a sell-on fee installed in his Brighton contract.

However, it would only be a percentage of any profit the Seagulls make should the 25-year-old be sold.