Mo Besic could be key to Everton’s attempts to land Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson, according to reports in the Northern Echo.
The 25-year-old midfielder impressed during a loan spell with the Championship side, featuring 17 times and scoring in a 2-1 victory over Derby County.
Tony Pulis wants to keep the Bosnian at the Riverside Stadium, but if he is to secure Besic’s signature from Everton he may have to part with their highly-rated Middlesbrough centre-back.
A £12million price tag may be bypassed if ‘Boro are willing to send Gibson the other way, as the Toffees look to prise him away from his hometown club.
Ramiro Funes Mori could also have played a pivotal role in the transfer, until his move to Villarreal was confirmed earlier in the week.
The central defender is no stranger to Merseyside, having spent two loan spells with Tranmere in 2012 and 2013, but has since become a regular starter on Teeside.
Gibson has 203 appearances to his name for Middlesbrough, and was a part of the team who were beaten by Aston Villa in the play-off semi-final.
Everton has competition on their hands if they are to complete the signing, as Southampton are also interested in the 25-year-old.
Marco Silva could make Gibson a priority though, as the side he inherited struggled at the back during last season.
The ageing Phil Jagielka looks to be coming to the end of his time with the club, while Michael Keane struggled to match the performances which warranted his £25million transfer from Burnley.
Besic seemed to find a new lease of life at Middlesbrough, and while his performances may not be enough to persuade his parent club to stick with him, the midfielder could still play a huge role in this potential deal.