Premier League outfit Southampton are considering a summer move for Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson, according to HITC.
The 24-year-old centre-back was a rare shining light in a miserable Premier League campaign for the North East side, earning rave reviews for his efforts in a season in which he played all 38 of their league matches.
Gibson, who earned a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad back in March but didn’t feature, was part of a Boro defence that only conceded 53 goals in the top-flight, but their paltry tally of 27 goals scored was ultimately their undoing.
And new manager Garry Monk looks set for a battle to keep the highly-rated defender, as managerless Southampton are reportedly considering a summer move for the 24-year-old.
The Saints parted company with Claude Puel earlier this week despite finishing eighth in the Premier League and reaching the EFL Cup final, yet could also be set to lose star defender Virgil van Dijk amid intense speculation from those in the upper echelons of the top tier.
And they have reportedly turned their attentions to Gibson in a bid to bolster their defensive ranks, which is sure to be a blow to Monk and Middlesbrough, what with the 24-year-old arguably their best player in the top-flight last term.
Whether Southampton do indeed make a concrete offer for the top talent remains to be seen, but what is clear is that if he were to leave the Riverside Stadium, Monk would have a job on his hands finding a replacement for Gibson given how good he was last term.
Middlesbrough fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!