Sheffield United look set to miss out on one of their first transfer targets of the summer, with Matt Clarke edging closer to a move to West Brom.
The defender had emerged as a target for new Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic, after learning that Jack O’Connell is likely to miss the season again.
However, according to the Express and Star, West Brom have now opened talks with Clarke about a move to The Hawthorns. He is expected to leave Brighton, with game time unlikely next season.
Clarke impressed last term during a spell with Wayne Rooney’s Derby County. Despite their lowly finish, the defender was one of the shining lights in a young Rams team.
But he looks set to join the Baggies now. It’s claimed that Albion could pay as much as £5m for Clarke. And with United’s strategy set to be focused on loans, that could prove too much for the Blades as it stands.
Slavisa Jokanovic has already said this week that the club is ready to move forward in the market. After a week in Spain with the squad, the Serbian has apparently spoken to the board about potential signings.
Sign of things to come? Or just a one off?
United fans will be hoping it’s the latter. We can’t afford to go through a summer and miss out on key targets. Especially in big areas like at centre-back.
The Blades need someone in there. The loss of O’Connell is huge, while Phil Jagielka has also moved on. It leaves just Egan, Basham, and Robinson as recognised central defenders, with young Ky Gordon also in the mix.
Hopefully, this week will see the United board press ahead. New faces and added quality is needed in this squad. Clarke would have brought that, but he appears out of the picture now.