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Arsenal ready to move for England ace, £30m deal could happen
According to the Evening Standard, Arsenal are plotting a move for Middlesbrough centre-back Ben Gibson with a £30m deal in the pipe-line ahead of the summer.
Despite on-going doubts over his future at the club, it looks like Arsene Wenger is increasingly likely to stay and he’s pressing ahead with his summer transfer plans.
While a new left-back and centre-forward are understood to be priorities, the Evening Standard claim we’re showing a keen interest in ‘Boro’s highly-rated centre-back Gibson.
The 24-year-old has been with the Teeside club his entire career and is now an established member of the first team having progressed through their youth ranks.
Gibson’s form has seen him recognised at international level as he was recently called-up to the senior England squad for the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.
He’s made his name as a left-footed centre-back but he’s also capable of playing at full-back if needed so no doubt this versatility appeals to Wenger, especially with the future’s of Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal in doubt.
The Evening Standard claim that Arsenal have now stepped-up their interest in Gibson after making initial checks on his availability earlier this month.
Middlesbrough know they have no chance of keeping hold of him if they go down and they currently sit 19th in the table and five points from safety so it’s a distinct possibility they’ll be heading back to the Championship.
The defender signed a new five-year contract last summer so ‘Boro are in a good position to demand a sizeable fee and the report says they’ll asking for £30m for Gibson’s signature this summer.
That’s big money for a player with relatively little experience at international or European level so it remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be prepared to meet their asking price, but we know there is a premium that comes with buying English players.
We’ll also face some competition as the paper says that West Ham, Liverpool and Everton are also tracking Gibson so we’re unlikely to be able to drive a hard bargain over the transfer fee.
Personally, I don’t see the need to spend £30m on another English centre-back when we have Koscielny and Mustafi as our first choice pairing. Mertesacker has signed a new deal while Gabriel is also on the books along with Holding and Chambers so unless at least one of them are leaving this summer, I think the money would be better spent elsewhere.