Watford emerge favourites to sign Middlesbrough transfer target

Watford emerge favourites to sign Middlesbrough transfer target

Middlesbrough could miss out on key Burnley defender Ben Gibson, as latest reports claim that he could be on his way to Watford.

Gibson signed two seasons ago from Boro in a transfer deal worth around £15 million but has struggled for playing time.

The 27-year-old has been unable to split the established centre-back duo of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee at Turf Moor.

There have been reports that the defender wants first-team football with the defender making just four appearances all season.

Gibson had been linked with a loan move to Boro in recent weeks as the Championship side were believed to have contacted Burnley for the defender.

However, Burnley are thought to prefer a permanent move for the Gibson instead of a loan move.

Watford are one of the clubs that can afford to spend big on the defender and this gives them an edge in the transfer, although some sources close to the player revealed that he would prefer a move to the Riverside Stadium.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche was coy when quizzed about the player's future, suggesting that a move could be possible in January.

"We will wait and see. Like every player, history suggests that they do leave us at some point, all of them, even the ones where I said 'no', they leave when that figure hits a figure."

Boro are hopeful that a loan move can be agreed but have started making alternative plans with Bournemouth defender Jack Simpson linked to the club in recent days.

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