Chris Basham has been with current club Sheffield United for over seven years now but his time with the side could soon be coming to an end, with Middlesbrough keen to sign him, according to Football League World sources.
The 33-year-old has accumulated over 300 appearances during his stint with the Blades and has been involved in various highs and lows with the club.
He’s even managed ten games this season too and remains a regular near the first-team picture.
However, it could be the end of the road for the defender and his current side when the winter window opens – but what would Boro be getting in the player if they could wrap a deal up for him?
Quiz: Have Middlesbrough ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?
Is it a good potential move?
Arguably, it’s a good move for all parties.
Basham himself is not going to remain in the first-team picture with Sheffield United forever, with the club sometimes preferring John Egan and Ben Davies as the centre-back pairing instead of him. Boro though would arguably utilise him a lot more – he may have a regular starting berth if he joined up with Chris Wilder – so it would give the player more gametime.
It would allow the Blades to move on from their long-serving player too in a way that is amicable and beneficial to him (although they would be hoping selling him to a divisional rival doesn’t come back to bite them).
Boro would also be getting a reliable player who is a leader at the back and could help them in their own play-off push.
Would he start?
Middlesbrough are certain to get some use out of the defender.
Although Sol Bamba has proven to be a rock at the back and is unlikely to be dropped minus an injury, Jonny Howson was used at the back during the last game and Lee Peltier, Paddy McNair, Dael Fry and Grant Hall have also all been utilised there.
There’s certainly competition for places then and he isn’t a guaranteed starter but he’s a very experienced head and a leader too, so could be just what Boro need at the back in their push for the top six.
He’s bound to get some minutes under his belt and if he can impress when given the chance, he could make a centre-back spot his own.
What does he offer?
Basham is quite solid with the ball at his feet and can take the ball out of defence and help start attacks for his side, so he does offer that aspect of his game. His dribbling ability is one of the best for a centre-back around, so that would be key for Boro.
His main strengths though are the ones usually required in a defender – and he does them well. His tackling is superb and having faced so many players over the course of his Sheffield United career so far, he knows how to prepare for different threats.
Basham then would be a shrewd signing for Middlesbrough – and could be just what new boss Chris Wilder needs to help him settle nicely into life at his new side.