Chelsea are reportedly set to have to look elsewhere as Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson may stay with the club despite relegation this season.
Antonio Conte’s side celebrated winning the Premier League on Friday night, and while they still have the FA Cup final to come, thoughts will likely start moving towards the summer transfer window.
It’s widely expected that the Blues will strengthen their squad further with the return of Champions League football to prepare for, but according to The Mirror, it doesn’t look as though one of their top defensive targets will be joining them.
Boro boss Steve Agnew has suggested that Gibson could stay at the Riverside Stadium to lead their immediate push for a return back to the Premier League next season, leaving Chelsea and Liverpool reportedly disappointed.
“He is one of the group and is determined to stay with it and see Boro back into the Premier League.
“I don’t think it is inevitable (he leaves). Ben has signed a new five year contract during the season and he has had an amazing season.”
It’s difficult to see how the 24-year-old could turn down the opportunity to challenge for trophies and play in the Champions League in favour of going back to the Championship next season. However, it is his hometown club and there will be a huge motivation to put things right as quickly as possible on Teeside.
Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo report that Barcelona want Marcos Alonso this summer as they eye a long-term solution to their problems at left-back.
The biggest obstacle though will of course be that he has been an integral part of Chelsea’s title-winning season after his summer switch from Fiorentina, and Conte will surely have no interest in seeing him leave Stamford Bridge ahead of next season.
Further, after arriving for €27m, Barca could have trouble from a financial point of view too as his value will surely have increased after such an impressive campaign.