Manchester City are reportedly considering turning their attentions to signing England international defender Ben Gibson before the close of the summer transfer window, according to the Independent.
The Premier League side, who salvaged a late 1-1 draw at home to Everton on Monday night, have been heavily linked with a move for fellow defender Jonny Evans of West Bromwich Albion, but the club fear they could be priced out of a deal and have identified Middlesbrough centre-half Gibson as their alternative target.
The 24-year-old, who was called up to Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad for the first time back in March, but is yet to make his senior England debut, has already scored one goal in four Championship appearances for Boro so far this season – netting in his side’s 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest at the weekend.
Gibson, who has been with Middlesbrough since the age of 12, has scored four goals in 157 games overall for Boro, and was an ever-present figure during their Premier League campaign last term.
The report suggests City are close to giving up on landing Northern Ireland international Evans, with West Brom demanding more than £30m for his services, leaving manager Pep Guardiola pondering over a £20m bid for Championship star Gibson instead, with the transfer window closing on August 31.