Portsmouth dealt blow as Middlesbrough close in on Brighton defender

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Middlesbrough are closing in on the signing of Matt Clarke from Brighton – but Portsmouth won’t benefit from the deal, it has emerged.

Boro look set to sign Brighton and Hove Albion defender Clarke despite strong interest from Stoke City.

The Portsmouth News report: “Pompey will not receive a cash windfall from Matt Clarke’s anticipated switch from Brighton to Middlesbrough."

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They explain that as the anticipated £2.25m to £2.5m transfer fee is less than what Brighton paid Pompey for the defender, then a sell-on clause would not be activated as it only kicks-in on profit made on the defender.

Middlesbrough's manager Chris Wilder. PA picture.Middlesbrough's manager Chris Wilder. PA picture.
Middlesbrough's manager Chris Wilder. PA picture.

Reports on Tuesday morning suggested Stoke were set to pip Boro to the signing.

But it would appear Chris Wilder has got his man after all with the defender heading to the North East for a medical.

A number of clubs had been interested in the defender – who has spent time out on loan the past two seasons at Derby County and West Brom.

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Wilder, meanwhile, is still targeting three signings at Middlesbrough before the end of the window.

At the weekend Middlesbrough completed the signing of striker Rodrigo Muniz on a season-long loan deal from Fulham.

Boro had been interested in the Brazilian throughout the summer after the 21-year-old played his part in Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League last season.

And Wilder still wants three more before the September 1 transfer deadline.

Premier League and EFL clubs must complete all their summer business by next Thursday. Only free agents will be able to join new clubs after that date.