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Middlesbrough are interested in bringing £15 million Burnley misfit Ben Gibson back to the Riverside but one player who is not heading north is Shrewsbury Town midfielder Josh Laurent, according to reports.

With Neil ‘promotion master’ Warnock committed to sticking around for one more year in management (sorry Sharon), Boro can now turn their attention to the transfer market.

And it seems that, once again, a familiar face will dominate the gossip columns over the summer.

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As the Northern Echo explain, Gibson has fallen out with Sean Dyche at Burnley and, unless the costs prove prohibitive, there is a genuine interest in offering a £15 million, £40,000-a-week defender the chance to rebuild his reputation back home.

It is just three years since, former Boro captain Gibson was handed an England call-up by Gareth Southgate thanks to his outstanding Premier League performances at the heart of Aitor Karanka’s backline.

A lot has changed in three years, both for player and club.

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Since moving to Burnley on a then-club-record deal, Gibson has played just one Premier League game in two years – a 5-1 thrashing at home to Everton in December 2018.

The Echo add that the academy graduate spent some time at Middlesbrough’s Rockliffe Hall training base recently after being bombed out by Dyche.

Try as they might, Laurent won’t be joining Gibson at Middlesbrough however. The Sun (27 July, Goals pull-out page 17) reports that the 25-year-old is set to be reunited with his former QPR coach Mark Bowen at Reading with a two-year deal agreed.

Laurent, who caught the eye with a glorious individual performance in Shrewsbury’s 2-2 FA Cup draw with Liverpool earlier in 2020, is now a free agent.

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