Tottenham and Chelsea are reportedly preparing to battle it out over the summer signing of Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson.
Despite boasting two of the best defensive records in the Premier League, with Spurs having the best of the bunch with 22 goals conceded in 30 games, it will come as a slight surprise to some to see them linked with defensive reinforcements.
However, according to The Sun, they have identified Gibson as a possible target, but the 24-year-old is also attracting interest from Chelsea where the need for another defensive ace is obvious.
Having seen Branislav Ivanovic leave the club earlier this year, John Terry is coming to the end of his career while the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill will need more long-term competition for places, particularly with Chelsea returning to Europe.
The report goes into fine detail as to how Mauricio Pochettino intends on using Gibson, as he will go to a 3-4-3 formation next season with the Boro ace deployed alongside Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
It’s added that Middlesbrough value the England international at £25m, but chairman Steve Gibson will be desperate to keep hold of his nephew in order to help the club firstly protect their top flight status and then build from there if they can avoid the drop this season.
With the two London giants battling it out at the top of the Premier League table this season, it looks as though they are set for a transfer battle now too as they look to build on this campaign and continue to emerge as the top two sides in the standings.