MIDDLESBROUGH’S battle to keep hold of homegrown defender Ben Gibson is being tested to the full after they rejected an £11m offer from Burnley.

The Clarets’ move for the 25-year-old centre-back arrived with the transfer window entering its final stage, with reports this afternoon claiming a bid has been lodged from Turf Moor.

The Northern Echo understands that offer for £11m was made recently and Boro have not had a second bid ahead of starting the Championship campaign at Millwall on Saturday.

Gibson has been rated at much higher than that in the past and Middlesbrough have not placed a value on him because of how important he is to the cause. 

But Everton, who have just offloaded Ashley Williams, are also in the market for a defender and have him on a list of contenders to target in the next week along with Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles.

It promises to be a busy end to the window for Middlesbrough, who are also acutely aware that Wolves, Newcastle and Huddersfield are interested in signing Adama Traore. 
In a bid to stop Traore leaving, Middlesbrough have offered the flying winger a new contract.

Traore will miss the start of the new season with a partially dislocated shoulder but that has not put off his suitors. He is also known to have Champions League admirers – even if there is a reluctance to pay the fee.

As things stand Middlesbrough are powerless to prevent him from leaving if any club offers the release clause in his deal, which is believed to be around the £18m mark.

The contract offer remains on the table and unsigned by the 22-year-old at the Riverside.

Tony Pulis, who signed goalkeeper Andy Lonergan on a one-year deal yesterday after leaving Leeds, has done everything he can to persuade him to stay and he would love him to be part of a promotion charge under his watch.

Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo is someone who he would like to come in and offer a threat down the flank too and Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he will be allowed to leave on loan next week.

Middlesbrough are waiting in the wings to try to push through a deal for the 21-year-old, having failed to secure his services when they tried last summer. Strikers Martyn Waghorn and Jordan Hugill are also wanted, and money raised in the next week could help fund those moves.