The departure of two defenders from Ross County in 24 hours could open a route back into the Staggies side for Tom Grivosti.
Coll Donaldson has reunited with former County boss John Hughes after joining Championship side Dunfermline on loan for the rest of the season.
Donaldson’s departure comes after the Staggies were dealt a major setback by the loss of defender Clarke, whose loan spell from Arsenal has been cut short.
Clarke has been among the Staggies’ top performers this season, making 17 appearances.
As well as showing up impressively in his defensive duties, Clarke has also provided a strong attacking threat, with three goals to his name.
An option open to Staggies boss Malky Mackay is to recall Grivosti, who has spent the first half of the season on loan at League Two side Elgin City.
Grivosti is comfortable in both the right-back and centre-half positions, where Clarke featured.
The 22-year-old made the switch to Borough Briggs in September in a bid to gain much-needed game time, and has racked up 13 appearances.
Englishman Grivosti has only played seven matches for the Staggies since October 2019, when he suffered a ruptured ligament between toe bones in a match against Rangers.
The complicated injury thwarted several comeback attempts, while Grivosti also suffered a hamstring injury after returning for a run of matches towards the tail end of 2020.
Mackay says he will consider whether to recall him or keep him out on loan, although Elgin boss Gavin Price has stated he does not expect Grivosti to remain with the Black and Whites.
Mackay said: “Elgin have been terrific for Tom. They are good people over there and we’ve got a good relationship.
“For two years it has been a dreadful time for him.
“He’s a great young lad who clearly has talent.
“Having been out for that long, he just needed to go and play football. He needs to get back into playing.
“We’ll re-assess it in January as to what the next best step is for him is, whether it is coming back here, going back to Elgin or whether it is actually looking at something a little bit higher up.”