Everton have refused to be pulled into a bidding war with Newcastle United over Jamaal Lascelles, and have instead turned their attention towards Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson, according to The Sun.

Everton and Southampton have been linked with the centre-back throughout the transfer window, and it emerged that the Saints were the favourites to sign the Middlesbrough man. However, with Everton now joining the race, it might not be a clean cut deal between Boro and Southampton, as  was first thought.

The Toffees were initially interested in Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles, but it is believed that the Magpies were looking for a figure in the region of £30 million. Newcastle are not looking to let Lascelles go easily, and with Chelsea and Tottenham expressing an interest, Everton may not be able to compete financially.

Everton have purchased the likes of Ashley Williams and Michael Keane in the last couple of years, and both signings have not worked out as yet. Ben Gibson could provide serious competition, and could even slot straight into the first team.

The centre-half earned his first England call up last season, but failed to get onto the pitch and earn his first cap. His experience in the Premier League may have been short-lived, but he is one of a few Middlesbrough players who could’ve held his head up high following their relegation in the 2016/17 campaign.

Middlesbrough fell just short last season, as they were defeated 1-0 on aggregate by Aston Villa in the Play Offs semi-finals. Boro will be hoping to go one better next season and achieve promotion, but it remains to be seen whether that will be with Gibson, or without him.

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook

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