ONE of Garry Monk’s first decisions as Middlesbrough manager will be to determine the future of Ben Gibson, with Liverpool set to launch a £20m bid for the centre-half.

Monk will be formally unveiled as Boro’s new manager at a press conference this morning, and having agreed to take over at the end of last week, the former Swansea City and Leeds United boss will immediately set about the job of remodelling the squad that was relegated last season.

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He has been promised a significant sum of money to spend on new signings, with chairman Steve Gibson prepared to commit around £30m this summer after pledging to “smash the Championship” in the wake of last season’s demotion.

There is no financial need to sell anyone, and Gibson has told Monk he is free to dictate who remains at the Riverside beyond the closure of the transfer window. However, with interest building in a number of players, the new boss might decide it is better to move some people on rather than force them to remain in the Championship.

His toughest decision will revolve around Gibson, with Liverpool having joined a clutch of clubs who are keen to sign the centre-half.

Jurgen Klopp thought he had set up a deal for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, but the Saints’ unhappiness at what they perceived to be the ‘tapping up’ of their player led to Liverpool issuing an unprecedented statement last week in which they apologised for their conduct and formally ended their interest in the Dutchman.

Klopp remains desperate to sign a new centre-half this summer though, and Gibson has now moved to the top of his wanted list.

The 24-year-old could make his senior international debut when England take on France in a friendly tomorrow, having been an unused substitute in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier with Scotland, and his performances in the Premier League last season make him one of the most in-demand players in the country.

Tottenham and Leicester have also been monitoring his situation closely, and Monk will have to decide whether it makes more sense to deny Gibson a move to the top-flight or cash in when the Teessider’s stock is extremely high.

The new Boro boss will also have to make a decision over the future of Marten de Roon, who is the subject of mounting interest from Italian side Lazio, and Gaston Ramirez, whose form dropped dramatically in the second half of last season after he was unable to force through a proposed move to Leicester.

There could also be a summer approach for George Friend, with Burnley keen to sign the left-back, who has been one of Boro’s most consistent performers in the last couple of seasons.