Tweet Appears to Confirm Clarke to Brighton as Rangers Chase Top Target

NEW Brighton manager Graham Potter is expected to make Pompey central defender Matt Clarke his first signing at the AMEX.

The 22-year-old Fratton Park favourite hinted strongly that he was likely to leave Portsmouth following the club’s failure to gain promotion to the Championship.

The news appears to have been unofficially broken, somewhat bizarrely, by a Twitter account purported to belong to Ronan Curtis’s mother. The tweet reads: Like to take this opportunity to wish Matt Clarke all the success at your new club Brighton FC, you’ve been fantastic for Portsmouth so go enjoy your time’.

Clarke was a target for a host of Championship clubs with Stoke City leading the chase. However, Brighton are reported to have won the race for his signature with a fee of around £4m expected to secure his services, a proportion of which will go to Clarke’s former club Ipswich Town.

The lure of Premier League football with the Seagulls has undoubtedly turned the defender’s head, with the added incentive of remaining on the south coast.

The departure will force manager Kenny Jackett to strengthen in defence with Jack Whatmough not expected to be back in action before December at the earliest.

One of Jackett’s top targets is believed to be Oldham Athletic’s George Edmundson, the player ending the season at the League Two Club by handing in a transfer request. However, reports north of the border indicate Rangers are keen to take the player to Ibrox but are yet to offer the £1m Oldham want for the 21-year-old.

Meanwhile, Pompey season tickets go on sale this week with supporters facing price rises varying from around 5% for those purchasing early, to around 18% for the most expensive executive seats.

A standard adult season ticket is available for £389, up from £369, if bought before the early bird discount period ends at 5.30pm on June 28. The price then increases to £439. Existing season ticket holders will have their current seat reserved until June 28.

Supporters who wish to move to a different seat will be able to do so from 9am on Monday, July 1, to 5.30pm on Tuesday, July 2. All unsold seats will then be released for general sale at the full price from 9am on Wednesday, July 3.