Sky Sports reported that Burnley and Middlesbrough had agreed a £15 million transfer fee for Boro centre-back Ben Gibson on Friday.
The 25-year-old central defender appears set to leave the Riverside Stadium after 13 years at the club. The nephew of chairman Steve Gibson, Ben Gibson joined Middlesbrough’s academy as a 12-year-old in 2005 and has gone on to make over 180 appearances for Boro.
The inflated transfer fee will delight Middlesbrough’s recruitment team, granting the side a substantial reward for a player who has played just one season in the Premier League. Yet Burnley will be left frustrated that they have paid the same fee for Gibson that Fulham paid for former target Alfie Mawson.
Winner: Middlesbrough’s finances
In today’s market, a £15 million transfer fee for a British centre-half with just one top-flight season under his belt is superb business.
Tony Pulis will undoubtedly be disappointed that the club has lost its long-serving captain who has performed admirably for Middlesbrough, but to negotiate a deal of that magnitude must be applauded.
The money received from the Gibson fee can now be utilised to strengthen an already formidable-looking Middlesbrough side in January, and lead to a serious promotion challenge after last season’s near miss.
For Burnley, the situation is far from ideal.
The Clarets missed out on their prime target, ex-Swansea City centre-half Alfie Mawson, as they were beaten to the 24-year-old’s signature by newly-promoted Fulham.
After being defeated in the Mawson race, their attentions turned to their second option Ben Gibson, and Burnley saw their bids of £12 million and £13 million rejected.
Finally, the club were forced to fork over £15 million for their backup option, the same amount the Cottagers paid for Mawson– a superior player.
In the end, Sean Dyche will still most likely be able to use Gibson in an effective manner in his well-drilled backline, yet Burnley will be left ruing their failure to secure Mawson and the inflated fee they paid to acquire the Boro man.