Newcastle United are preparing to make a January loan-to-buy offer for Burnley centre back Ben Gibson, according to TEAMtalk.
The outlet claims that the Magpies are ready to bring the former Middlesbrough man back to the north east, and will look to get him in on a temporary basis in the new year before signing him permanently next summer.
Burnley are said to have spent £15million to sign Gibson from his boyhood club in summer 2018, but has only started one Premier League game for the club since that switch.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche is now ready to move on and take a big loss on the player, who is said to be a long-term target for Newcastle chief Steve Bruce.
When looking at whether Gibson would be a good signing for Newcastle, a number of things need to be considered. First of all, you’d hardly think that this is the position the Magpies most need to strengthen in January. A right back, winger and – above all – a striker would all appear to be bigger needs than another centre back. This is actually one of the few areas of the pitch where Bruce is well stocked, with Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Fabian Schar, Paul Dummett, Federico Fernandez and Florian Lejeune (when fit) all in situ. The question, then, is whether Gibson represents a sizeable enough upgrade on that group to make him worth signing. To do that we need to go back to his last top flight season: 2016/17. The statistics show, as per WhoScored.com, that he fits in well amongst the Magpies’ current back three of Lascelles, Clark and Schar. Gibson averaged more clearances, drew more offsides and committed fewer fouls than any of the Newcastle trio have this term, while his average WhoScored rating was higher than both Lascelles and Clark’s have been this season. You’d have to say, then, that as long as he doesn’t end up costing a big fee, this might be one worth doing.