Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson has been one of the hottest properties in the transfer market since the season finished. Stoke City have long been linked with the player but Boro recently slapped a price tag of £25m on the English defender, which seems a bit steep for the lad.
Gibson was one of the most highly rated defenders in the Premier League last term. The 24-year-old was involved in all matches for the Teessiders who will be playing in the Championship next season after getting demoted last season.
The Smoggies recently appointed Garry Monk as their manager and the English gaffer has told the club to retain him alongside Martin De Roon who has also been in demand. Boro are very adamant to keep both the players at the Riverside Stadium as they start their promotion battle next season.
Gibson has been with the club from the start of his playing career but after getting relegated to the second tier, it might be the best time for him to find another club.
His excellent performance for the club from the North East earned him a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad and to better his chances for the Three Lions, he would be very keen for a move to the Premier League.
As many as six clubs – Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Southampton, Leicester and Stoke – are chasing the player. Steve Gibson, chairman of Boro who also happens to be the uncle of Ben, is very determined to keep the player at the club.
A defender is an immediate need for the Potters. They brought Bruno Martins Indi from Porto on loan and the Dutch defender was pretty solid in the Potters backline. Mark Hughes has been trying to reach a permanent move for the player but hasn’t been able to seal a deal yet.
Also, Captain Ryan Shawcross has only a year left on his contract which has left Hughes in a worrying position. Boro had one of the most improved defence among the lower ranked teams and the credit goes to Gibson. He, alongside Calum Chambers, solidified the defence. Despite being in the drop zone, their central defence worked as a unit and the result clearly reflected in their performance as they leaked only 53 goals, better than a few other clubs who survived the drop.
Stoke are destined to sign a defender and are ready to negotiate with Boro. The 24-year-old has gone from strength and strength and to maintain his growth he needs to move out from the club.