Leeds United have entered the race to sign Burnley defender Ben Gibson, while Middlesbrough could also be open to a return to the Riverside Stadium for the centre back, a report from The Northern Echo has revealed.
Burnley are thought to be willing to sell the defender in the summer transfer window, despite only signing him from ‘Boro last summer.
The Lancashire side reportedly paid a club-record equalling £15million fee for the 26-year-old, but things haven’t worked for Gibson at Turf Moor, with the centre back making just five appearances in all competitions for Sean Dyche’s side, scoring once in a 5-1 thrashing by Everton, while he was also sent off during Burnley’s 3-1 defeat to Greek side Olympiacos in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying second round tie.
It is now thought that both Leeds and Middlesbrough are interested in signing Gibson, although they look set to face strong Premier League competition for his signature, as Newcastle, along with newly-promoted trio Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa are also reportedly interested in a move for the defender.
Prior to his move to Burnley last summer, Gibson had made 203 appearances in all competitions for ‘Boro, scoring four goals and helping them win promotion to the Premier League in 2016, having graduated through the club’s academy earlier in his career.
I can see this being a good signing for either of the two Championship clubs linked with Gibson here.
Both Leeds and ‘Boro could do with an established centre back before the close of the current transfer window, following the departures of Pontus Jansson and Aden Flint respectively.
Gibson’s experience certainly makes him a viable candidate for that role, although it may still be difficult for them to get this signing completed.
With a high amount of Premier League interest reported, Gibson may be tempted to remain in the top flight to look to prove himself at that level after flopping somewhat at Burnley last season.
Even so, if he is to make the step back to the Championship, then his previous strong connections with Middlesbrough could put the club in a promising position to win the race for his signature.