Norwich City have identified Burnley’s Ben Gibson and Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu as potential additions for an error-prone back line, according to reports over the weekend.
Considering that Daniel Farke’s Canaries finished bottom of the Premier League, conceding a remarkable 75 goals in 38 games, it should be no surprise to learn that signing a new centre-half is high on their list of priorities.
£15 million, £40,000-a-week bench-warmer Gibson might have played just 63 minutes of top-flight football in two years at Burnley, but his record in the second-tier is something to behold.
Gibson captained boyhood club Middlesbrough to promotion back in 2016, earning a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad almost 12 months later.
And with Burnley hoping to sell their record signing, who has fallen out with Sean Dyche and spent much of 2020 training at Boro instead, Norwich will rival Neil Warnock for his signature (the Sun, 9 August, page 60).
The Press Association, meanwhile, claims that talks are underway regarding a deal which would see Wales international Ampadu swap Stamford Bridge for Carrow Road.
If Gibson is an old-school, body-on-the-line warrior who graduated from the John Terry school of hard knocks, Ampadu is more modern in style.
A classy, ball-playing operator who shot to fame with his performances in central midfield for Ryan Giggs’ Wales side, the Exeter-born 19-year-old looks tailor-made for Farke’s possession-heavy style.
Ampadu spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan at RB Leipzig, starring in a 3-0 Champions League thrashing of Tottenham despite failing to start a single Bundesliga game all season.