Huddersfield Town midfielder Adam Clayton’s rumoured transfer to Championship rivals Brighton is far from a done deal, sources suggest.
But it seems there is still a way to go if last season’s Town Player of the Year is to end up at the Amex Stadium.
Clayton, who has just a year left on his Town contract and could move for nothing next summer, has also been linked with Middlesbrough this close-season.
With their big opener at home to Bournemouth less than a week away, Town want to have a replacement lined up before parting company with the man who started his career at Manchester City.
And the fact that Clayton, a £350,000 signing from Elland Road two years ago, featured for 80 minutes of Saturday’s friendly at Oldham, went against reports from Brighton that a deal was all but concluded.
The Seagulls have cash to splash after the £8m sale of star striker Leo Ulloa to Leicester.
They are also being linked with Bristol City striker Sam Baldock and Wolves full-back Stephen Ward, who had a spell on loan at the Amex last season.
Clayton has made 94 appearances in his two seasons at Town, scoring 11 goals.
Manchester born, he came through the City youth system, earning England Under 20 honours and having loan spells at Carlisle and Leeds, who signed him permanently in 2010.
He had further loans at Peterborough and MK Dons before establishing himself at Leeds, for whom he played 50 times in total, scoring six goals.
The transfer rumours around Clayton have been building for much of the summer with our online sports reporter Tom Marshall-Bailey writing as early as May why keeping Clayton at Town could be the club's best bit of business during the off-season.
Walsall's Sam Mantom was rumoured to be of interest to Town if Clayton departed but the Saddlers' boss Dean Smith declared the midfielder 'not for sale' in mid July.
We also produced the 'Clayton-o-meter' for Town fans to have their say on what they thought the midfielder was worth, with the current total standing at £1.7m