By Nick Ware

13th Jul, 2021 | 12:40pm

West Brom could announce Matt Clarke signing within the next 48 hours

West Brom could announce the loan signing of Brighton defender Matt Clarke within the next 48 hours, according to Joseph Masi.

The Express and Star reporter, writing on his personal Twitter profile, claims that a deal to take the 24-year-old to The Hawthorns is imminent.

He wrote: “Understand Albion are very close to signing Matt Clarke on a season-long loan from Brighton. Announcement soon, could be within the next 24/48 hours…”

Moving at pace

Albion’s interest in the Englishman was first reported last week, with journalists like Alan Nixon claiming the Seagulls were open to the idea of selling Clarke for £5million.

However, it appears that the goalposts have shifted somewhat, and he is now set for a third successive season out on loan, after spending the last two campaigns at Derby County in the Championship.

As such, he now knows the league inside out, and that will only add to the vast array of Championship experience within the Albion squad.

With an announcement expected by Friday, Clarke will surely be thrown straight into pre-season training as he looks to get adjusted to Valerien Ismael’s style of football as quickly as possible.

He is the second major addition of the transfer window, after free agent Alex Mowatt followed his former boss from Barnsley.

There’s now some healthy competition in the centre of defence with Semi Ajayi, Dara O’Shea and Kyle Bartley all vying for a spot in the starting XI, though the latter has been linked with a move to the Premier League [Telegraph].

However, a large squad will be required to readjust to the vigorous demands of the second-tier, while Ismael’s high-intensity style of football is likely to take its toll throughout the season, so it will be imperative to ensure the squad is well-stocked in all areas of the pitch.

In other West Brom news, this is why Cheikh Diaby was released by Albion.

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