Chelsea have reportedly been told by Middlesbrough that they will have to splash out at least £30m to prise Ben Gibson away this summer.
The 24-year-old has established himself as a key part of Boro’s success and has been an ever-present in the heart of Aitor Karanka’s defence with 27 Premier League appearances to his name so far this season.
His impressive form has unsurprisingly attracted interest from elsewhere, with The Express reporting that Chelsea are keen on signing him this summer, while Manchester City are also monitoring him.
It’s claimed in the report that Boro blocked a move for Gibson in the January transfer window, but they might find it harder to do so this time round and in turn have made their demands clear.
While it’s added that the Premier League outfit are under no pressure to sell, it will surely be difficult to reject such hefty fees as they look to protect their top flight status this season and keep themselves in the league moving forward.
City’s need for defensive reinforcements is evident as John Stones needs a reliable partner next to him even though he has been shaky at times himself this season. There are too many question marks over Pep Guardiola’s backline currently, and it certainly needs to be addressed if they want to target the title next season.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte will hope to bolster his defensive options ahead of next season with his three-man defence likely to need further competition for places with a return to the Champions League ahead.
With John Terry likely to call time on his playing stint at Stamford Bridge, it leaves Chelsea an option short and so Gibson could be a sensible, and expensive, move given that he would also count as a homegrown player.