Celtic linked centre-back Ben Gibson has found a new training home at former side Middlesbrough despite still being under contract at Burnley for another two years – according to FourFourTwo.
The surprising development was reported by the football magazine on Wednesday – the same day that Gibson started training with the Riverside club.
The 27-year-old departed Boro for Burnley back in August 2018, for the large sum of £15million. (BBC)
He has since found game time hard to come by. Gibson has started just one Premier League match for the Turf Moor side in total.
That came back on Boxing Day of 2018 – an afternoon when Burnley were trounced 5-1 at home by Everton.
Celtic interest in Gibson
Gibson was a late addition to the Celtic January transfer rumour mill – with the Hartlepool Mail claiming we were set to rival Boro for his signature in the closing days of the window.
FourFourTwo also mention our interest in their Wednesday release that also claims there is “no arrangement in place” for Gibson to return to Middlesbrough at present.
But it does seem like relations have become so fractured at Burnley that the defender has been allowed to effectively leave the club and train elsewhere – despite still being contracted until the summer of 2022. (transfermarkt.co.uk)
We could still do with another centre-back option
It will be interesting to see if that interests us come the end of the season.
If Neil Lennon is keen to continue with a back three beyond this chunk of matches he will likely have to recruit in the position this summer.
Jozo Simunovic is highly unreliable due to his proneness to injuries, while Jack Hendry doesn’t seem to have much of a future at the club having been farmed out to Australia on loan.
That could mean that there’s space for someone like Gibson – especially if he’s available on a cut price deal.
But, if we are indeed interested, it seems like his former employers Middlesbrough may be our main competition.