West Brom manager Tony Pulis has confirmed his interest in signing Boro defender Ben Gibson but admits it will be almost impossible to lure the defender away from Teesside.
The Baggies have already had two bids rejected for the 24-year-old and despite ongoing talks, it remains highly unlikely that Gibson will leave his hometown club.
West Brom have had two offers turned down by Middlesbrough for Ben Gibson. We understand the first of those to be in the region of £12m.
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) July 25, 2017
“Ben is a smashing player,” Pulis told SkySportsNews following his sides pre-season victory over Burton Albion.
“I’m sure Middlesbrough want to keep him.”
Pulis is a long-term admirer of Middlesbrough Chairman Steve Gibson and following Boro’s recent positive transfer activity almost openly admitted defeat in his chase for Ben’s signature.
“Steve’s (Gibson) had a right go and plowed a lot of money again into the playing side – so they’re looking to getting promoted again and you can understand that they don’t want to get rid of Ben.
“We’ve had enquiries (for Gibson) and we’ve had enquiries for other players as well.
“But I think it’ll be very difficult to get Ben out of Middlesbrough.”
It is believed that Middlesbrough are ready to offer Gibson an improved contact to fend off any interest from elsewhere.
The defender is expected to sit out of Boro’s final preseason friendly before the start of the new Championship season following a facial injury suffered in Saturday’s defeat to Rochdale.
— EverythingMFC (@EverythingMFC) July 25, 2017