Manchester City are reportedly interested in Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson and are set to compete with Chelsea in summer pursuit of the Englishman.

The Sun have reported that Manchester City are showing interest in Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson. The centre-half’s maiden Premier League campaign has been hugely promising, albeit only at an individual level thus far. And his displays have earned the long-term interest of Chelsea, at first; and now City as well.

Ben Gibson is a Middlesbrough academy graduate that has been one of the mainstays in the defence for Boro in the recent campaigns. The player was one of the architects of his side’s promotion winning campaign in the Championship and has taken to Premier League with aplomb as well.

In his maiden Premier League campaign, the centre-half has been everpresent in the defence for Middlesbrough and his displays have put him on the brink of a senior England call-up, despite his side’s struggles in the Premier League. His performances have also caught the eye of top English clubs, who are in search of defensive reinforcements.

Chelsea have been linked with the 24-year-old since the end of the summer transfer window, with Gibson eyed as the long-term successor to John Terry. The Blues are on a roll and are heavy favourites for the title this season. Champions League football seems like a certainty now, which would need depth in their team.

And Antonio Conte plans on doing just that with a deal to bring Gibson over to Stamford Bridge in the summer. The Blues defence have ageing members and Conte would love to freshen up his options, especially with a player who already has Premier League experience.

Set to stay in a Blue shirt, but the club badge may change for the next season. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Set to stay in a Blue shirt, but the club badge may change for the next season. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

But, Manchester City have now entered the race as well. The Citizens are reeling in defensive worries of their own – with John Stones slowly getting to grips with the rigourous demands of Pep Guardiola, while Guardiola seeks a partner for the English international.

Like Conte, Guardiola would also like to sign a player that is already well aware of Premier League football and Gibson could also fit in seamlessly into Guardiola’s plans, with Middlesbrough also playing a very possession-based and passing-oriented brand of football.

As per the report, Guardiola is looking to offer Middlesbrough £25 million for Gibson in the summer and land the player ahead of Chelsea. But, the Blues would be more than ready to match the aforementioned offer, if they deem Gibson to be the addition Conte needs for the new campaign.

Gibson’s quality can be reaffirmed by the fact that only four teams have conceded more goals than Middlesbrough, despite Karanka’s men floundering towards the bottom end of the Premier League and destined for a relegation scuffle.

And, even though Middlesbrough’s future in the Premier League may be under heavy clouds, Gibson is likely to be playing Premier League football next season as well, be it at Manchester City or Chelsea.

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