Report: Liverpool turn attentions to Middlesbrough defender

Oli Fisher

Liverpool have turned their attentions to Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson after failure to sign Virgil van Dijk, a report claims.

Yorkshire-based newspaper The Star reports that Jurgen Klopp has made the defender his first choice after a move for Van Dijk fell through.

The report claims a £20million price tag has been put on the 24-year-old, who suffered relegation last season as Boro finished 19th in the Premier League.

The Teeside club recently confirmed Garry Monk as their new boss, but will have to fight off interest from Tottenham and Leicester – as well as Liverpool – for Gibson.

Gibson was a huge factor in the defensively resolute Boro side which only conceded 53 goals last season – the least outside the top ten.

Liverpool decided to end their interest in Saints defender Van Dijk after they reported the Reds’ transfer conduct.

When Southampton discovered how Liverpool had reportedly sent detailed video clips to Virgil van Dijk on how he would fit into Jurgen Klopp’s side the south-coast side believed a line had been crossed.

Van Dijk, 25, had extensive talks with Klopp over a proposed £50million move to Anfield and agreed personal terms with the club, according to Yahoo Sport.