Pep Guardiola to battle Chelsea over £25m-rated PL ace to solve defensive headache

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly plotting a summer swoop for Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson, but faces competition from Chelsea.

If there has been a major criticism of City this season it’s been their defensive vulnerabilities, whether that be individual errors or not defending well enough as a unit.

Having conceded 29 goals in 26 games, 10 more than Premier League leaders Chelsea, it’s not been as solid as Guardiola would like at the back, and in turn it looks as though he’s ready to address it in the summer.

According to The Sun, Gibson has emerged as a top target for City, although the Boro skipper will cost around £25m as he continues to impress this season.

Gibson has been touted as a future success for both club and country, and it looks as though the 24-year-old could be set for a big move in the summer to help take him to that next level.

Signing a homegrown player will help Guardiola too, and that may well be one of the reasons behind why he has looked closer to home to solve his defensive troubles rather than splash out on another European signing.

Nevertheless, Gibson will have a big role to play if he does move to Manchester as while Vincent Kompany has continued to struggle with injuries this season, it’s been down to Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones for the most part and the pair haven’t always convinced.

Stones is undoubtedly considered a mainstay in this team for years to come, but time will tell if he has his England defensive partner next to him.

As for Chelsea, with John Terry likely to retire or leave at the end of the season, Antonio Conte will need depth to compete with his current back three and perhaps even displace them. In turn, Gibson would make for a sensible signing for the Italian too.

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