Chelsea favourites ahead of Man City to land key Middlesbrough man

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Middlesbrough may be struggling in the Premier League right now, but Ben Gibson’s individual performances have caught the eye of plenty of elite English clubs. In fact, he even received a call-up to the senior England squad last week, replacing the injured Chris Smalling.

Of course, that means his stock is high right now, and Boro may have to accept that the 24-year-old will move on in the summer, as a whole host of sides prepare to do battle for his signature.

But the latest odds are suggesting it’s Chelsea who lead the way right now, with 7/4 on offer for Stamford Bridge to be Gibson’s next port of call.

Just behind Chelsea in the running are Man City at 3/1, who parted ways with just shy of £50m for John Stones’ services last summer.

Though it’s unlikely Gibson would cost anywhere near that sum, any potential buyer would likely have to spend around £25m to secure the defender’s services.

Of course, that fee could fall significantly if Boro fail to avoid the drop. They’d be in no position to demand such a huge sum, and thus plenty of clubs would be preparing to open their chequebooks for the centre-half.

Having added Rob Holding to their ranks last summer and Calum Chambers in 2014, Arsenal are 9/2 to bring in yet another young English defender in Gibson, while a controversial move to Newcastle is priced up at 7/1.

As things stand, Middlesbrough are some five points off safety in the top-flight and as short as 2/9 to go down.

It’s not defensively where the Teesside outfit have struggled though. They’ve conceded just 33 goals this season – only five sides have shipped fewer (four of which are in the top five).

That solidity has largely been down to Gibson, who is yet to miss a minute of top-flight football this season.

But will this be his last year in the north-east?

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.