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Derby sign Clarke on season-long loan

Derby have signed central defender Matt Clarke on a season-long loan deal from Brighton.

The 22-year-old is expected to go straight into the Rams squad for their opening game of the season against Huddersfield on Monday night.

Clarke joined Brighton from Portsmouth on a four-year deal earlier this summer for a reported fee of £3.5million, becoming Graham Potter’s first signing as Albion boss.

However, Potter sees the best way for him to continue his development is in the Championship with the Rams.

Clarke becomes the third new arrival at Pride Park after midfielders Graeme Shinnie and Kieran Dowell joined the club earlier in the summer.

Derby are also expected to complete the signing of Krystian Bielik from Arsenal in the next 48 hours for what PA understands could be a club record fee.

The 21-year-old, who can play at centre-back or as a defensive midfielder, could cost as much as £10million with the add-ons included in the deal – eclipsing the £8million the Rams paid Watford for striker Matej Vydra in 2016.