Stoke City have reportedly made an offer of £12m for Middlesbrough central defender Ben Gibson. The Potters are very eager to reshuffle their defence after a difficult campaign.
Gibson was one of the very few positives from a season which was excruciatingly frustrating for the fans seeing their team suffer from the same malaise throughout the season.
Gibson single-handedly kept hold of the defence as despite getting relegated to the Championship, they conceded only 53 goals which is a much better performance considering the amount of goals that have been scored this season.
Stoke City, who finished the season in 13th place, had a much worse goal difference than the Teesiders. Gibson’s performance at the heart of the Boro defence earned him some very rave reviews.
The 24-year old’s future lies away from the club as playing in the second tier would be a step down for him and as far as a place in the England team is concerned, Gareth Southgate won’t consider a player who is not having enough game time in the top tier.
Gibson happens to be the nephew of Boro owner Steve Gibson whose interference has been a stumbling block in his transfer. There have been a number of interests from a host of clubs but the elder Gibson has been knocking back every possible move.
Gibson has played effectively in every single game of last season for the Riversiders. His steady presence has been the backbone of the team but due to the failure of the attacking department, Boro couldn’t stay afloat and had to get demoted after earning a promotion in the 2015/16 season. Boro owner might be ready to part ways with the player but has been demanding in the excess of £20m from any suitor.
Stoke’s defensive situation remains shaky as Mark Hughes is yet to strike a permanent deal for defender Bruno Martins Indi from Porto. The Dutch defender heavily impressed in his loan stint with the club and Hughes desperately wants him to move permanently to the BET365 Stadium.
Added to that, Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross will be entering his final year of the contract and is yet to be offered a contract extension.
In the past few years, the valuation of English defenders has skyrocketed and we have seen it in the transfers of John Stones who moved to Manchester City from Everton.
Boro would be in no hurry to sell the defender as they prepare for life in the second division under the tutelage of newly appointed manager Garry Monk.