Deserve to be near, perhaps (4)
I believe the answer is:
Here is my best explanation:
'deserve' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)
'near perhaps' is the subsidiary indication.
'perhaps' indicates anagramming the letters.
'near' with letters rearranged gives 'earn'.
'to be' is the link.
(Other definitions for earn that I've seen before include "Gain through labour or work", "Near (anag.)", "Acquire money by labour", "win", "Get (money) for work or labour", "To merit", "Win", "Deserve, gain", "make bread?" and "Deserve - merit".)