The Athletic correspondent David Ornstein has taken to Twitter to report Arsenal’s bid for Brighton and Hove Albion’s Ben White which could impact Derby County and Matt Clarke.

Arsenal are said to be closing in on a deal for the England international.

The Gunners have reportedly bid £45 million. Brighton, meanwhile, are holding out for a little more but negotiations are ongoing with a deal a strong possibility.

Arsenal signing Ben White could impact Derby’s chances of re-signing Matt Clarke.

Clarke joined Brighton from Portsmouth back in 2019. However, the defender has spent the past two seasons on loan at Derby, winning the Player of the Year award in 2020.

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The central defender has been an excellent performer during his time at Pride Park.

Derby’s current situation amid EFL charges has left the club in an embargo. Loans and free transfer are the way forward while only 14 senior players are contracted beyond June.

Clarke will top the Derby wish-list this summer. The Rams know all about him, while his absence leaves a huge void in central defence. Getting him back on loan is vital.

But White leaving Brighton could prompt the Seagulls to keep Clarke this season.

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Brighton play with three central defenders. Selling White would leave them with Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, Dan Burn and Joel Veltman with Shane Duffy out of favour.

Manager Graham Potter will want at least five central defenders in case of injuries and suspensions, and Clarke is the obvious candidate to step up in place of White.

Also see: Report: ‘Strong character’ available for free has Derby offer on table, Huddersfield also keen

Also see: Report: League rivals join Derby in race to sign frustrated player seeking Newcastle exit

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