Leeds have joined Newcastle United in pursuit of Burnley defender Ben Gibson, according to the Northern Echo.
The newspaper claims that the Clarets are willing to listen to offers for the 26-year-old centre-back, who they signed in a club-record deal from Middlesbrough last summer only for him to make just five appearances in his debut season at Turf Moor.
It is understood that Leeds and former club Boro would be interested in Gibson if the deal was right while promoted trio Aston Villa, Norwich and Sheffield United are also keen on him.
The Northern Echo adds that Gibson is a long-term target of Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, who tried to snap up the Englishman before he joined Burnley a year ago.
It might be difficult for Leeds to sign Gibson. According to statistics website Spotrac, the defender earns £40,000-a-week on his deal at Turf Moor, which does not expire for another three years. Burnley paid £15million [BBC Sport] for Gibson last summer and although they might be willing to take a financial hit on the defender, they surely won’t be willing to take that much of a hit. Leeds’ business has been restricted by Financial Fair Play this summer [Phil Hay] so it’s unlikely that they would be able to offer anywhere near what Burnley want for Gibson, even though he’d be a good signing for them. Gibson is a proven defender in the Championship having made 148 appearances in England’s second-tier and winning one promotion in the process. Although Leeds are short of options at centre-back, Newcastle have an abundance of players in that position and simply do not need the 26-year-old former Boro man.
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