By Matt Farr
Tottenham have been handed a significant boost in their reported pursuit of Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson, according to reports.
Sky Sports understand that the 24-year-old will quit the Riverside Stadium this summer if the club fail to avoid relegation from the Premier League, and have revealed a number of Premier League clubs are interested.
A host of other Premier League clubs are also believed to be monitoring Gibson’s situation, but the latest development from Sky Sports sources suggest that interest could now step up ahead of the transfer window.
Gibson’s departure looks an inevitable prospect, with Middlesbrough currently fighting a losing battle in their bid to retain their Premier League status, sitting nine points adrift of safety with five matches remaining.
Despite the club’s ongoing struggles, Gibson has been a shining light in a resurgent Middlesbrough back line this season, contributing to a defensive effort that has seen the club concede just 43 goals from their 33 matches.
But it could mean little if Middlesbrough fail to beat the drop down to the Championship, and Tottenham could offer him a chance to continue playing at the top level with a summer swoop.
Football Insider verdict
It will be very tough for Middlesbrough to keep themselves afloat this season, because despite their decent defensive record, they can’t score goals. Therefore, if Sky Sports sources are correct, Gibson will be on the move in the very near future. His performances for Middlesbrough this season suggest that he is a player who is more than capable of performing consistently in the Premier League, and Tottenham could be a fine choice. However, he may struggle for regular first-team opportunities if Tottenham elect for a back-four, with Gibson unlikely to split the partnership between Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. But if Mauricio Pochettino opts for a back-three, as he has done so in recent weeks, Gibson offers a more suitable choice than any of Tottenham’s remaining options.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Tony Cascarino has urged the club to join the race for this 25-year-old star.