Middlesbrough suffered a heartbreak as they missed out on Premier League qualification for yet another season. They were narrowly beaten by Aston Villa in the playoff semi-finals and the Boro will again have to fight it out in the Championship. As a result of them staying in the Championship for another season, they might have to sell some of their key assets and one of them is English defender Ben Gibson. Everton are one of the contenders to bring him in.
Gibson was pivotal for the Teessiders in the heart of the defence throughout the 51 games he played in all competitions last season. Boro had the third best defensive record as they conceded 45 goals in their campaign. Tony Pulis will certainly not like to sell him but the club might need to cash in on the £25m-rated defender.
Everton, on the other hand, will be looking to reinforce in the summer as they had another average season where they finished 8th. A lot was expected from them this term, but due to their poor start, they didn’t manage to challenge for the Europa League spot.
The Toffees have a good amount of option at the back but there can be some players who might leave the club in the summer. Ashley Williams has expressed that he has been left frustrated at the club and that could be an indication of his departure in the summer.
The preferred centre-back pairing this term for the Merseyside club has been Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane. Jagielka is not going to get any younger as he is 35 and cannot be expected to start day in day out next season. Keane has taken some time to adjust to life at Goodison Park. Ramiro Funes Mori has also been linked with a move away in the summer as he has struggled with injuries and hasn’t managed regular game time since his arrival in England,
Gibson is 25 and he can be a long-term option for the Toffees. However, there have been rumours of Everton signing Eliaquim Mangal on a permanent basis in the summer. It is certain that they will only sign one of them, so if they move in for the French defender, Gibson will likely miss out on the move to Goodison Park.
Gibson has represented England at various youth levels and has been at the Riverside stadium since 2010. He also has an experience of playing in the Premier League when Boro were in the top division. He can be a good signing for Everton but it remains to be seen whether they will cough up £25m for the defender.