EVERTON are ready to use two players in a bid to tempt Middlesbrough into selling defender Ben Gibson this summer.

The Toffees are known to want the homegrown talent but Boro will not be willing to let him go on the cheap, knowing there is also competition from Southampton for his signature.

Everton, though, have a couple of players who Middlesbrough are interested in signing, so some hard-bargaining and negotiating could be just around the corner.

Tony Pulis, the manager at the Riverside Stadium, would love to have Bosnian midfielder Mo Besic back on Teesside after a successful loan last season.

Everton are not looking to let him go on loan again and would only be willing to offload if an offer in the region of £12m was tabled.

Besic would be keen to return to the North-East if he felt his future at Goodison Park was over, while new Everton boss Marco Silva wants to weigh up the players he has inherited.

And Pulis is also keen on centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori, although it is unclear whether reports that a £5m bid for his services from Middlesbrough has been made.

Regardless of whether there has or not, Funes Mori is someone under consideration by Middlesbrough along with Besic, which is where Everton’s desire to sign Gibson could prove interesting.

Middlesbrough are clearly looking at adding centre-backs to their squad having revived last summer’s interest in Bristol City’s Aden Flint, who is rated at around the same £5m figure Funes Mori is.

The 27-year-old Everton man is also a target for Mexican club Monterray but Middlesbrough should have the financial clout to beat them in a battle for his services.

Middlesbrough goalkeeper Tomas Mejias, meanwhile, has agreed in principle to join Cypriot side Omonia Nicosia after four years in the North-East.

The 29-year-old is set to become a free agent next month and has had an indifferent time since joining from Real Madrid, which included impressive cameos in cup wins over Manchester City and Manchester United.