Leicester City are ready to break their club transfer record to sign Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson, according to reports.
The Telegraph claims that the Foxes have pinpointed Gibson as one of their main transfer targets this summer to end their search for a new centre-back.
The 24-year-old has been identified by Leicester’s recruitment team, however, Middlesbrough value their defender at a whopping £30million.
The East Midlands club have been on the lookout for a new defender for 18 months and failed in a bid to bring in Burnley’s Michael Keane last summer.
The Foxes’ frustrations in the market continued in January, missing out on Anderlecht’s Kara Mbodji. Leicester did secure the signing of Udinese’s Molla Wague on transfer deadline day, however, the defender was ruled out for the remainder of the season through injury, leaving City short on defensive options.
Gibson has impressed in his first Premier League campaign, earning himself an England call-up in April and has also been watched by Liverpool, Stoke and Chelsea throughout the season.
Despite Boro sitting second bottom of the Premier League, six points from safety, they have recorded one of the best defensive records in the league, conceding just 37 goals.
Leicester see the defender as the ideal competition to veteran pair Robert Huth and Wes Morgan, who have a combined age 65.
Meanwhile, Kasper Schmeichel believes the Foxes can continue their European adventure by overturning their 1-0 first-leg deficit to Atletico Madrid when the La Liga side come to the King Power Stadium.
“Why not?” he said. “We have always said that. European nights are something special, away nights and home nights in particular at the King Power have been fantastic for us.
“There is a semi-final of the Champions League on the line so I think everyone is very much up for the fight.
“We are in the game. That was the aim from the first leg. I don’t think we can take more belief than we already have. We have got more than enough belief.”