Middlesbrough have emerged as the front runners to secure a potential deal to bring former defender Ben Gibson back to the Riverside from Burnley, according to the Northern Echo.
Gibson’s future looks set to be away from Turf Moor with the defender, who only arrived at Burnley from Middlesbrough in a £15 million move two summers ago, having fallen well out of favour under Sean Dyche and even spending time away from his parent club training with Boro last term.
Middlesbrough had faced competition for Gibson with Norwich City amongst the sides to have been linked with an interest in the one time England defender, but they appear to have cooled their interest, meaning Neil Warnock could land the player.
Quiz: Can you name where each of these 14 ex-Middlesbrough players are playing now?
It is thought that Middlesbrough would be unable to meet Gibson’s full wages as it would prevent them from making any further additions whilst also remaining within financial fair play restrictions, and that they are hoping Burnley would be able to make up the majority of the defender’s salary to get him away from their squad.
Middlesbrough need to start to pick up the pace in terms of their transfer business having only managed to add Grant Hall to their defensive options so far, but considering they have also lost all of Daniel Ayala, George Friend and Ryan Shotton they need to bring in reinforcements quickly.
Whilst a return of Gibson would be a very welcome one for Boro, it does seem that although they are favourites for his signature it is still going to take a lot of deliberating on Burnley’s part over whether they would sanction him to leave on Middlesbrough’s terms.
That means Boro should ideally be looking at potential alternatives just in case a move for Gibson dose not materialise.