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Ipswich Town could be set for £1m+ windfall if Matt Clarke joins Brighton

PUBLISHED: 11:54 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:59 28 May 2019

Matt Clarke was Portsmouth's star man this season as they won the Checkatrade Trophy and finished fourth in league One. Photo: PA

Matt Clarke was Portsmouth's star man this season as they won the Checkatrade Trophy and finished fourth in league One. Photo: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Ipswich Town could be set for a seven-figure windfall if former player Matt Clarke completes a reported £5m switch from Portsmouth to Brighton.

Matt Clarke has made 121 appearances for Portsmouth in League Two and One. Photo: PAMatt Clarke has made 121 appearances for Portsmouth in League Two and One. Photo: PA

The 22-year-old defender swept the board at Pompey's end-of-season awards and now looks almost certain for a move up the pyramid.

An English centre-back transfer chain could be set in action if Manchester City sign England international Harry Maguire from Leicester City.

That would, according to reports, lead to the Foxes recruiting Brighton's one-cap international Lewis Dunk and Clarke heading to the Amex Stadium.

New Seagulls boss Graham Potter, who has just had a year in charge of Swansea, is understood to be a long-term admirer of Clarke and believes the youngster can make the step up from League One to the Premier League.

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Clarke is now heading into the final year of his contract at Fratton Park, but with so many clubs interested in his signature - Leeds and Stoke also linked - a fee of around £5m is being muted.

Ipswich would be due 20% of that as part of a sell-on clause negotiated when Mick McCarthy used him as part of a player-plus-cash (£750k) deal for fellow ball-playing centre-back Adam Webster in 2016.

MORE: Big interview: 'This is my club' - Jack Lankester on his journey from Ipswich Town fan to first team player

Matt Clarke made just one senior start for Ipswich Town - in a League Cup defeat at Crawley. Photo: PagepixMatt Clarke made just one senior start for Ipswich Town - in a League Cup defeat at Crawley. Photo: Pagepix

Webster, of course, was subsequently sold to Bristol City for £3.5m last summer and went on to be named the Robins' Player of the Year in his debut season at Ashton Gate.

Suffolk-born Clarke joined Town's academy at the age of six and signed a professional contract in 2013.

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He made his senior debut in August 2014, starting as left-back in a 1-0 defeat at Crawley Town in the League Cup, but went on to make just four more appearances for the Blues - all as a substitute.

Recently, Blues boss Paul Lambert rued the fact that the club had let too many left-footed centre-backs go. As well as Clarke and Webster, the Blues have allowed Christophe Berra and Tommy Smith to move on in recent years.

MORE: 'This club has lost left-footed defenders... it was impossible to lose another' - Lambert on new pro Ndaba

Luke Woolfenden and Corrie Ndaba are the latest centre-backs to come off the Playford Road production line and, having been at League Two side Swindon on loan and captained the Under-23s in a table-topping season respectively, could both be part of the senior squad in League One next season.

Town missed out on a promotion clause pay out yesterday when former striker Martyn Waghorn was part of the Derby County team which lost to Aston Villa in the Championship Play-Off Final.

MORE: Ex-Ipswich Town striker Kieffer Moore named in Wales squad with Bristol City reportedly set to reignite interest

It is not known if they'll receive any money for him scoring in that game, with Peterborough chairman Darragh McAnthony having revealed the League One club would have scooped £75k had Jack Marriott been credited with the deflected goal.

Town could also receive some sell-on clause money if former striker Kieffer Moore - who has just helped fire Barnsley to League One promotion with 19 goals - moves on this summer. The 26-year-old has been linked with a £2m switch to Bristol City.

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