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This morning, the Daily Mail reported that central defender Ben Gibson was back training with his old club Middlesbrough following a training ground disagreement that has left his relationship with the club somewhat strained.

Burnley hadn’t commented on the situation and, at the time of writing, had published nothing on their website or used social media to explain the situation, but the press on Teesside have reported that we have issued an official statement.

That statement reads: “Burnley Football Club can confirm they have given Ben Gibson permission to train with Middlesbrough Football Club.

“The defender made it clear, in the weeks leading up to the end of the January transfer window, that he wanted to leave Turf Moor to seek regular first team football. Unfortunately for the player, the club did not receive an offer it felt was acceptable and he remains contracted to the club.

“The club will not be making any further comment on this matter.”

Gibson signed for Burnley in August 2018 but had an up and down, mainly down, start with us that saw him sent off in the Europa League play-off game in Greece against Olympiacos and then have surgery on two separate occasions.

He finally made a league debut for us on Boxing Day 2018 against Everton and scored our goal in a 5-1 defeat although he was substituted before the end with Sean Dyche returning to a back four. He hasn’t played in the league for us since and his only appearances have been in last season’s FA Cup and this season’s League Cup.

He didn’t feature in the FA Cup this season with the manager, ahead of one of the games, confirming he wouldn’t be considered due to a lack of training time.

Up the Clarets understands there was a problem earlier in January and that we would have been open to his transfer, either permanently or on loan, had we receive an acceptable offer. Besides Middlesbrough, Watford were also linked with him as were a couple of German clubs.

There is no suggestion as to how long he will be permitted to train with his own club but the fact remains that he’s still our player and we could select him at any time, although again that is not, we believe, likely.

This looks very much as though it is going to be a signing that looked a good one at the time that in the end just didn’t work out although, as it stands, he is still contracted to us until the end of the 2021/22 season.

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