Transfer Rumour: Liverpool shift attention to Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson after failure in Virgil van Dijk pursuit

Liverpool have reportedly set their sights on Ben Gibson after their pursuit of Virgil van Dijk ended in embarrassing fashion this week.

According to a report in The Sun, Liverpool have shifted their attention towards Ben Gibson after failing in their pursuit Virgil van Dijk. The Reds are now set to put the aforementioned saga behind them, and make a move for the Middlesbrough defender in the summer transfer window.

Gibson progressed through the ranks at Middlesbrough, and also spent loan spells at lower league clubs before finally establishing himself in the first-team setup at the Riverside in 2013. Since then, the player has been a key player for Boro, having been a mainstay in the heart of his side’s defence.

In fact, Gibson was one of the most influential figures for Middlesbrough as they achieved promotion to the Premier League in 2016. And although, they returned straight back to the Championship at the end of the 2016/17 season, the 24-year-old was a standout player for the club, ever present at the back as Boro put in resolute defensive performances.

Gibson has earned a callup to the England national side and, perhaps, a move to Liverpool? (Photo courtesy - Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Gibson has earned a callup to the England national side and, perhaps, a move to Liverpool? (Photo courtesy – Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

His stellar campaign for Middlesbrough in the recently concluded season also earned Gibson a maiden callup to the England national side. Also, the player has been attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League as well.

Liverpool are the latest big name suitor that has emerged in pursuit of Gibson, and the Reds look set to pull out all the stops in order to land the Englishman in the summer transfer window.

The Merseyside club enjoyed an encouraging campaign in 2016/17, as even though they faltered in their bid to win the Premier League, the Reds managed to qualify for the Champions League – a good base for Jurgen Klopp to build on.

However, there are several issues that the Liverpool manager needs to address and defence seemingly remains one of his major concerns. Centre-back, in particular, has emerged as a priority for Klopp, and Liverpool looked set to sign Virgil van Dijk before controversy struck and they were forced to back off his chase.

The club is now set to put the embarrassing saga behind them, thereby, moving on to Gibson. The switch to Anfield will also allow the player to take his career to the next level, while also having the opportunity to play in the Champions League next season.

Middlesbrough, though, are unwilling to let go of their star player easily, and are set to demand £20 million in exchange for his services. It now remains to be seen if Liverpool are set back by the asking price, or if they are able to land Gibson in the summer.

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