THERE is no deal in place for Ben Gibson to become a Middlesbrough player this summer, despite the Burnley defender starting training at Rockliffe Park today.

The Northern Echo understands that Gibson is purely being allowed to work on his fitness levels at his former club, who tried to sign him in January on loan, after falling out of favour at Turf Moor.

Gibson is still under contract at Burnley until 2022 but the incredible situation has been granted, following on from an apparent training ground disagreement at Burnley.

Middlesbrough are not making an official comment but sources close to the club have confirmed he is back at the club’s Rockliffe Park HQ.

Burnley have released this statement: “Following reports in the national press, Burnley Football Club can confirm they have given Ben Gibson permission to train with Middlesbrough Football Club.

"The defender made it clear, in the weeks leading up to the end of the January transfer window, that he wanted to leave Turf Moor to seek regular first team football.

"Unfortunately for the player, the club did not receive an offer it felt was acceptable and he remains contracted to the club. The club will not be making any further comment on this matter."

It has been claimed relations between the club’s record £15m buy, signed from Middlesbrough in 2018, and Burnley have become strained after he was not given the go-ahead to move on in January.

It is unclear how long he will back at Middlesbrough and head coach Jonathan Woodgate has given Gibson, whose uncle is chairman Steve Gibson, permission to return to the Hurworth base.

The 27-year-old, whose hefty Premier League wage is believed and price-tag is believed to have been the reason why Burnley dug their heels in during the window, saw a deadline day loan switch to Watford collapse.

It is understood there has been a disagreement between Burnley and Gibson, with suggestions it was sparked when members of the coaching staff discussed his performance in a training session.

He has only played six times for Burnley since joining in August 2018 and his only senior appearance this season was against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup in August – a game the Black Cats won.

Gibson’s only Premier League appearance under Dyche was in a 5-1 defeat by Everton last season. Dyche has considered letting him train with the Under-23s but Gibson’s request to head back to County Durham to train has been granted.