According to reports by Sky Sports, West Ham United are one of three Premier League clubs interested in signing £20m-rated Middlesbrough captain Ben Gibson this summer.
However, with Boro still involved in the promotion race in the Championship, Sky Sports say the defender could yet stay at the Riverside Stadium should they secure an immediate return to the top flight this term, especially seeing as he is owner Steve Gibson’s nephew.
He has impressed, and he only signed a new five-year deal to stay with the Teesside outfit in October.
The 25-year-old has been an ever-present and played every single minute of Boro’s Championship campaign as they have conceded just 43 goals in their 44 league matches this term.
As well as being a leader, Gibson has once again shown the qualities he has throughout the campaign, and according to WhoScored.com he has a passing accuracy of 80.1%, while he has made 259 clearances and won 131 of the 227 aerial duels he has faced.
He certainly could be, yes.
It is clear that the Hammers need to strengthen their backline this summer given that James Collins could be on his way out when his contract expires, Jose Fonte left for China in February and Winston Reid looks to be a shadow of his former self and continues to be plagued by injury issues.
That has left the east London outfit short in defence, and they could certainly do with a leader like Gibson, who would be willing to put his body on the line for the club.
While West Ham supporters may want someone more high-profile than a Championship player if they are to progress next season, the 25-year-old showed in the Premier League with Boro last term that he has the quality to play there on a regular basis.
Potentially costing £20m, he could be one of the best-valued British centre-backs on the market, with the club also being linked with Brighton and Hove Albion’s Lewis Dunk and Swansea City’s Alfie Mawson.