SEAN DYCHE has hinted that Ben Gibson could leave Burnley if the figures are right, having already turned down a loan offer from Middlesbrough for the defender.

There is a lengthy list of clubs keen on signing the centre-back, including in-form Premier League side Watford who are heading towards safety under ex-Boro skipper Nigel Pearson.

And the Hornets are ready to push harder for Gibson, who would be allowed to leave Turf Moor if the terms were right.

Burnley would prefer to sell the man they paid a club record £15m for in the summer of 2018, but Middlesbrough are in no position to get anywhere near that or match his top-flight wages.

Even Burnley’s interest in Dael Fry - who Jonathan Woodgate suggested over the weekend that he will not be letting go for less than £30m – would not help Middlesbrough when it comes to match Gibson’s wage.

Watford are certainly in a stronger position to do that and they are currently weighing up whether to firm things up before Friday’s transfer deadline.

Dyche, who is looking to bring in a defender before he sells, said: "We will wait and see. Like every player, history suggests that they do leave us at some point, all of them, even the ones where I said 'no', they leave when that figure hits a figure.

“I am not going to start so I am not going to start making big statements about people definitely being here and all that."

Gibson, who would be interested in a return to his native Teesside, is clearly out of favour at Burnley where he has played just six times in two seasons, starting once in the Premier League. Middlesbrough’s failure to get something done has led them to being interested in Bournemouth’s Jack Simpson.

As reported in The Northern Echo this week, Simpson is under consideration having made just three Premier League appearances, one start, in this campaign. He can also play at right-back.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe rates the 23-year-old and there is plenty of interest in signing him on loan, including from Leeds, Boro and Rangers.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, and Birmingham have been charged by the Football Association after the fracas involving players and coaches during their match on Tuesday.

The incident followed Birmingham being denied a late winning goal by referee Andy Woolmer, who brought play back for a foul on Marcus Tavernier when he lay on the floor.

Middlesbrough coach Leo Percovich and the Blues’ head of performance Sean Rush – formerly employed at the Riverside during Garry Monk’s time there - were sent off and face charges of improper conduct.

Now both clubs, Percovich and Rush have been given until January 28 to respond after the two clubs were charged with "failing to ensure their club officials and/or players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour".