Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson says he wants to play in Premier League
By Stephen Mills
Last Updated: 19/05/17 7:10pm
Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson says he hasn't decided if he will leave this summer, but insists he wants to carry on playing in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old has been linked with Liverpool and Chelsea following confirmation of the club's relegation to the Championship after one season back in the top flight.
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Gibson has been at Middlesbrough since he was a schoolboy, but after winning his first England call-up in March he has not hidden his desire to play at the top level.
"I'm obviously contracted to the football club," he told Sky Sports.
"It's been a hard year for everyone. What I would say is that since I came here at 10 years old, I've given my lot for the football club.
"I think every player in the world wants to play in the Premier League, everyone wants to play at the top level. I'm no different to that.
"What I would say is that no decision has been made regarding my future as of yet."
Gibson has played in every Premier League game for Middlesbrough and helped the side to keep 11 clean sheets during his first season in the top flight.
And he says he has proved to himself that he has what it takes to play in the division.
"I feel like I've done well personally," he added.
"I pride myself on our team keeping clean sheets and trying to lead a back line, being in control of it and then trying to play out from the back, helping the team going forward when I can.
"We feel we have done that well, but trying to be a perfectionist, which I am, there are times we should have kept more clean sheets. Particularly lately we have conceded more goals than we should have.
"I think personally I've been encouraged by my performances. Until you step foot over the white line in a new division, you don't know if you can play at that level.
"I believe in myself that I'm capable of playing at this level and I've enjoyed testing myself against what are some of the best players in the world."
Steve Agnew has been in caretaker charge of Middlesbrough since the sacking of Aitor Karanka in March.
And despite overseeing their relegation, Gibson insists he is the right man to lead the team on a full-time basis in the Championship next year.
"I think he's been brilliant," he added.
"It might not look like that from the outside, but there's more to it than what people see.
"We haven't had that bounce in terms of results, but Steve has had a difficult job. His hands have been tied behind his back to be honest.
"He has contained a very difficult situation very well in my opinion. Steve is a good man, he's honest, very hard working and is a fantastic coach.
"He's a leader and I certainly believe that he'll be the right man for the job,"