Middlesbrough are set to lose on-loan Callum Chambers and surely face a battle to keep highly-rated Englan hopeful Ben Gibson. So who could ‘Boro bring in to maintain their solid base?
Despite relegation, ‘Boro had the best defensive record in the bottom half of the Premier League, and for that reason, Chambers will almost certainly stay at the top level either with parent club, Arsenal, or otherwise. Meanwhile, Gibson will be subject to bids from bigger clubs, with Manchester City previously said to be interested.
Martin Caceres is available on a free after a disappointing spell at Southampton. Indeed, Saints aside, the 30-year-old has an otherwise very impressive CV, with spells at Juventus, Sevilla and Barcelona.
Steve Gibson has never been opposed to paying the lucrative wages that Caceres would probably demand, and the ‘Boro Chairman has already announced his intentions to spend big to ensure an instant return to the top-flight. Don’t be surprised to the Teesiders punching above their weight in their player recruitment, buying into Gibson’s fiery and ambitious rhetoric.
The soon-to-be-appointed manager could persuade nephew of the chairman, and lifelong ‘Boro fan Ben Gibson to stay for a season in the Championship, should they show the aspiration to mount a serious promotion challenge.
A defensive partnership of Caceres and Gibson would be a tall order for any Championship strike force to pass, and the former has shown an openness to sign short-term deals following his sixth-month stint at St Mary’s.
This could work for both parties, as the Uruguayan must be looking for instant first-team football after a distinct lack of it at Southampton, and Middlesbrough will be desperate not to be burdened by an excessive wage bill should they not achieve promotion in their first season back in the second-tier.