MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Pulis admits a return to the Premier League would be 'brilliant' for Ben Gibson, but insisted Boro had to get the best deal possible.

Burnley failed in a £12million bid for the centre back on Thursday but have made him the top defensive target after missing out on Swansea City man Alfie Mawson.

The 25-year-old signed a new deal at the Riverside Stadium last summer following Middlesbrough's relegation for the Premier League, but he could now move on after the Teessiders failed to return to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Speaking to the press ahead of Boro's season opener, Pulis confirmed there had been contact with the Clarets.

"I'm not sure where the negotiations are with that one. The powers that be will discuss that," he said.

"If he has the chance to go to the Premier League, then that is brilliant for Ben. Everyone wants to play at the top level. He has to give it serious consideration. He might decide to stay and that would be brilliant for us.

"What has to happen is that this football club makes sure we get the best possible deal, and we're clever and organised enough to invest the money in players who can do a similar job or even better."