Manchester City could look down a division in their search for a centre-back who won’t break the bank, with the Daily Mail reporting that Pep Guardiola is considering a move for Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson.
The Blues have previously been linked with a move for the 24-year-old, but he was never thought to be one of Pep’s main candidates to reinforce his defence. However, with much of the remaining budget apparently allocated to bringing in a top striker, Gibson could offer some quality for a reasonable price.
West Brom have already had a £20million bid rejected for Gibson, who is the nephew of Boro chairman Steve Gibson and has been with the club since the age of 12.
Garry Monk’s stance is that the Teesside club do not want to sell Gibson, who was part of the the Middlesbrough side relegated from the Premier League last season, but would consider ‘exceptional offers’ for their star defender.
Gibson is a left-footed centre-back, something that could appeal to Guardiola following the recent departure of Aleksandar Kolarov to Roma. Pep tried to sign another left-sided central defender, Aymeric Laporte, last summer, only for the player to get cold feet and reject the move when it seemed close.
Gibson received his first England call-up for the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania in March, and although he has yet to win his first cap, he may view a return to the Premier League as necessary for his hopes of playing for the Three Lions.