Middlesbrough will reportedly sign £13m man, but £50k-a-week wages could block second move

Jonathan Woodgate assistant coach of Middlesbrough during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge on May 8, 2017 in London, England.

Championship hopefuls Boro reportedly want two Premier League bench-warmers - Leicester City's Filip Benkovic and Burnley's Ben Gibson.

Filip Benkovic of Leicester City during the Premier League 2 match between Leicester City and Brighton and Hove Albion at King Power Stadium on August 23, 2019 in Leicester, England.

Middlesbrough are now in pole position to sign Leicester City’s forgotten man Filip Benkovic, according to the Mail, but a deal to bring Ben Gibson back to Riverside remains in doubt.

With a sudden upturn in form seemingly putting Boro back among the promotion-chasing pigeons, the final few days of the January transfer window could make or break their chances of success under Jonathan Woodgate this season.

Lukas Nmecha and Patrick Roberts have already caught the eye on loan from Manchester City but, if reports are to be believed, Middlesbrough are also hoping to strengthen at the other end of the pitch before Friday’s deadline.

 

Given that £13 million Benkovic has only been included in the match day squad for one of Leicester’s Premier League games in 2019/20, the young Croatian would surely jump at the chance to play regular first-team football under a former Real Madrid and England stopper at the Riverside.

The Mail reports that the 22-year-old is ‘poised to join’ on a short-term loan deal – so long as Leicester succeed in bringing a replacement to the King Power. Benkovic won the Scottish Premiership title during a spell at Celtic last season and that experience could prove invaluable to Boro’s top-six hopes.

Filip Benkovic of Celtic celebrates with the team as they win the league during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian FC at Celtic Park on May...

While one door opens, however, another appears to have slammed shut.

A modern-day club great who captained Boro to promotion in 2016, Gibson has been lined up for an emotional return to the North East. But, according to the Northern Echo, the £15 million Burnley bench-warmer could be simply too expensive with his £50,000-a-week wages representing a substantial stumbling block.

Burnley's Ben Gibson during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Burnley and Sunderland at Turf Moor on August 28, 2019 in Burnley, England.

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