Southampton are set to make a £20 million move for Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson this summer, according to reports.
According to The Sun, the Saints are desperate to strengthen their back line after the departure of Virgil Van Dijk in January, and their poor season in the Premier League.
The 25-year-old was a vital member of Tony Pulis’ side that finished fifth in the Championship, missing out on a chance at promotion after their 1-0 aggregate defeat to Aston Villa in the play-off semi-final.
Southampton secured Premier League survival officially on the final day of the season, despite losing at the hands of Manchester City.
The left-footed centre half would likely be a starting right off the bat at St Mary’s, but the club are reportedly also interested in signing Swansea’s Alfie Mawson.
Saints were one of several clubs that were linked with the Ben Gibson last summer, along with relegated sides West Brom and Stoke City.
Ben Gibson was a pivotal player in Pulis’ play-off reaching side, and without him next season, may struggle at the back.
For Southampton, the departure of Van Dijk has left them very vulnerable at the back, so a new centre back is a must for Mark Hughes’ side this summer, and the Englishman would do a job in any lower end Premier League side.