Hodgson in Clarke hope
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Darlington boss David Hodgson is assessing his defensive options.
Darlington boss David Hodgson is assessing his defensive options with Matthew Clarke's future still in doubt.
Hodgson would like to keep skipper Clarke at The TFM Arena, but negotiations on a new contract have stalled and other clubs are circling with interest.
Notts County and Port Vale have both been linked with the 25-year-old, and Hodgson has said he will step aside and allow him to leave if an improved offer comes in.
Former Gillingham defender Chris Hope, released by Ronnie Jepson at the end of the season, is reportedly in the frame to replace Clarke.
The local press has claimed that the club will enter into talks with Hope later this week in a bid to seal a deal.
David McGurk has also been offered a one-year extension as Hodgson searches frantically for defensive cover.
The 23-year-old has struggled to establish himself in the Quakers first team to date and may decide to try his luck elsewhere.
He enjoyed a successful loan spell at York last term and could be tempted by a return to KitKat Crescent.
"Any decision would not just be about money," he told The Northern Echo. "It would be about enjoying my football and playing on a regular basis."