Middlesbrough are fighting a losing battle as they try to keep England's newest recruit Ben Gibson.

The defender has been called up by Gareth Southgate as a replacement for Chris Smalling, who pulled out on Friday with an unspecified injury.

Gibson is poised for a big-money switch to one of the Premier League's top-six clubs ahead of next season.

Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham have expressed interest in the 24-year-old.

Former Boro and England defender Jonathan Woodgate could hold the key to a potential switch to Liverpool.

Woodgate, now a scout at Anfield, has formed a close bond with Gibson given his connection to the Riverside, and the former Real Madrid defender is a huge fan of the new England player.

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