According to reports in The Mirror, Chelsea and Liverpool target Ben Gibson could stay at Middlesbrough this summer despite the club suffering relegation from the Premier League.
Well, despite Boro making an immediate return to the Championship after just one season back in the top flight, their defenders have come out of the campaign with a lot of credit.
After conceding 48 goals in 36 matches prior to the visit of Southampton, captain Gibson has been acknowledged as one of the standout performers at the back for the Teesside outfit and has attracted interest from a number of the top clubs in the Premier League, while he received his first call-up to the England senior squad in March.
The Blues and their rivals from Merseyside are two of the clubs who are said to have registered an interest in the 24-year-old, but caretaker boss Steve Agnew thinks he could stay at the Riverside Stadium with his uncle, Steve, being the chairman.
Before their clash against Southampton Gibson had made 211 clearances and 57 interceptions in 36 Premier League appearances, while he has also shown his ability on the ball by completing 16 of the 17 take-ons he has attempted.
The skipper has also shown brilliant leadership at the back, which would have impressed any watching scouts, and he is said to be rated at £30m by his club, according to The Telegraph.
Of course, yes.
However, if he is to get a regular spot in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions team then he will know that he needs to be playing regularly and that is something that he knows might be an issue if he moves to Stamford Bridge or Anfield.
With Chelsea building such a strong three-man defence on their way to the Premier League title courtesy of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta, and with Southampton star Virgil van Dijk a rumoured target, it would be difficult for Gibson to be a regular starter under Antonio Conte.
He would certainly have more of an opportunity under Jurgen Klopp, where he would be competing against the likes of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip.
Despite Agnew’s comments, Gibson may look to stay in the Premier League while he still has an opportunity but perhaps a move to a lower-ranked club than Chelsea or Liverpool is a more likely outcome.