Middlesbrough target Le Havre defender as Ben Gibson replacement

Middlesbrough are reportedly trying to tie up a January move for Le Havre defender Harold Moukoudi, according to The Sun.

Boro have identified Moukoudi as a replacement for Ben Gibson, who recently departed the Riverside to join Premier League Burnley in a £15million deal.

Moukoudi has been linked with several top flight clubs in the past and was close to joining West Ham in this summer’s transfer window.

But the 20-year-old desire was to remain in France, citing regular playing time as the primary factor in his decision to turn down a move to the Premier League

However, The Sun report that the central defender, who has been capped four times for France’s Under-20s, will drop down into the second tier ‘if terms are agreed’.

A product of Le Havre’s academy, Moukoudi progressed through the youth ranks at the Ligue 2 side before establishing himself as a regular in their first team last season.

He played 37 times in all competitions as Le Havre lost out on promotion to the top tier of French football following a play-off quarter-final defeat to Ajaccio.

Tony Pulis has cash to spend given the big-money departures of the aforementioned Gibson, Adama Traore and Patrick Bamford.

And the Boro boss is aiming to get a deal for Moukoudi tied up ahead of the January transfer window, with the French club willing to sell.

Boro have already added defensive reinforcements this summer, signing Aden Flint in a £7million deal from Championship rivals Bristol City as well as the versatile Paddy McNair from Sunderland.

However, it appears Pulis is in the market for more and hasn’t been put off by Moukoudi’s £10million price tag.

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