Derby County’s chances of signing Matt Clarke this summer have been boosted by Graham Potter’s latest comments on Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White.
White has spent the season on loan at Leeds United.
The 22-year-old has been brilliant, helping Marcelo Bielsa’s side win the Championship title.
Leeds conceded just 35 goals this season, keeping 22 clean sheets.
But Brighton seemingly have no intentions of selling White to their new Premier League rivals this summer, with Potter speaking highly of the defender to the Daily Mail.
He’s our player, he’s got a long contract with us. I have known Ben for a while, I have been aware of him, wanted to try and sign him when we were at Swansea. I know about his qualities. He’s a fantastic player. He’s done brilliantly at Leeds and helped them get promotion – that’s fantastic for them, fantastic for him – but he’s our player and we’re looking forward to working with him.
Brighton retaining White will boost Derby’s chances of signing Matt Clarke.
While Brighton sent White to Leeds, the south coast club signed Clarke from Portsmouth for £3.5 million last summer before loaning him to Derby.
Clarke joined the Rams as a replacement for Fikayo Tomori. While his style of play is completely different, the Brighton man was equally impressive over the campaign.
Derby boss Phillip Cocu recently admitted he wants to bring Clarke back next season.
Ultimately, the decision sits with Brighton who are already stacked with excellent defensive options in Lewis Dunk, Aaron Webster and Shane Duffy.
With White now expected to break through at the Amex next season, Clarke will surely be available and for the right fee potentially on a permanent deal too.
Derby, however, will likely just seek another loan in a move which suits all parties.