Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson will not be sold this summer with Liverpool and Chelsea facing real transfer disappointment, according to reports.
The 24-year-old has been a key figure for Boro this season despite their relegation as he also received his first senior England call-up, but the club will now face a fight to keep their top players at the Riverside Stadium next year.
However, according to The Daily Mail, owner Steve Gibson has no intention of letting his nephew move on and hopes that he will spearhead their bid to gain immediate promotion back to the Premier League.
It’s added that both Chelsea and Liverpool had earmarked the England U21 ace as a possible summer signing to bolster their respective backlines, but it sounds as though the club’s owner will do everything he can to convince the central defender to remain on Teeside for one more season at least.
If true, that’s a disappointing blow for both interested parties, as Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp will be looking to strengthen where possible this summer.
Despite winning the Premier League title and with a possible FA Cup triumph still to come, Chelsea will need to add quality and depth ahead of returning to the Champions League next season.
As for Liverpool, their defensive record hasn’t been great, especially compared to the sides around them in the table, and given they will hope to be preparing for the Champions League too this summer, Klopp will need to plug some gaps at the back and add more quality.
However, it looks as though both clubs will have to look elsewhere, unless they can test Middlesbrough’s resolve with a big-money bid if they are set on Gibson being the long-term solution for them.