Clare is one of several young talents thrust into Jos Luhukay's side amid a spate of injuries last season, and impressed with one goal in four starts before injury struck.
The 21-year-old is out of contract this summer, however, and has yet to publicly deliver his response to Sheffield Wednesday's offer of a new one.
The latter publication suggests the Villans' precarious financial situation, along with the departure of their head of recruitment, Tony Coton (pictured, above, in his Manchester City days), to Sunderland, as reasons why that could be the case.
And with Sunderland the beneficiaries of a recent takeover by businessman Stewart Donald, an ambitious move for Clare may not be out of the question - especially as the Mackems' midfield exodus looks yet to have ceased.
While a switch to the Stadium of Light would represent a short-term step down for the Sheffield Wednesday youngster, his long-term prospects could be just as bright - if not brighter - as the Owls too prepare to rein in the spending in a bid to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
Where Clare ends up remains to be seen, although joining Sunderland is perhaps not as daft as it sounds.
Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Sunderland or other - for which club will Clare sign this summer?