What Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate said about Ben Gibson, in and outgoings amid Leeds and Burnley reports
Jonathan Woodgate has left the door open for Ben Gibson to re-sign for Middlesbrough this month – with the Teessiders in desperate need of another centre-back.
Gibson has hardly featured for Burnley since his move from Boro to Turf Moor in 2018, with reports suggesting a return to the Riverside on loan may be possible.
When asked if Gibson, 27, is one of the centre-backs under consideration and if he’s spoken with the defender, Woodgate said: “Could it be Ben Gibson? Who knows? It could be anyone.
“Have I spoken to Ben about signing? Not at the minute. Ben Gibson’s a good player, but there’s an awful lot of good players in the league. Would he be open to coming back? I’m not sure on that one. But he’s a Boro lad isn’t he?”
Another player who has attracted interest is Boro defender Dael Fry, following claims the Teessiders knocked back an offer of around £10million for the 22-year-old.
“Dael is not for sale,” added Woodgate “He’s not for sale unless someone pays £30million.”
The Boro boss does still expect to bring one or two more players in this month following the loan arrivals of Patrick Roberts and Lukas Nmecha from Manchester City, as well as the permanent signing of goalkeeper Dejan Stojanovic
“I expect one or two players in,” said Woodgate when asked about potential incomings. “Whether they’ll both be defenders, I’m not sure about that. But I’d expect one or two with the injuries, although hopefully they’re not too serious.”
As well as Fry, other players have been linked with moves away from the Riverside this month, with one national report linking striker Britt Assombalonga to Leeds.
Yet Woodgate says he hasn’t been made aware of offers for any of his players.
“There haven’t been bids that I know of,” said the Boro boss. “But I’m sure there will be because there are some really good players in there.
“If bids come in, let’s see. We’ve got some really good players, and if I was other managers, I’d be looking at a few of them because a few of them have
stepped up this year and been absolutely fantastic. There are a lot of good players.”