BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche insisted details of the breakdown in relations with defender Ben Gibson will remain private.

The Clarets confirmed on Wednesday that they had taken the highly-unusual step of allowing Gibson, a £15million signing in August 2018, to train with his former club Middlesbrough.

At his press conference ahead of tomorrow's clash with Southampton, Dyche said: "It's quite a unique situation.

"There's a private angle to it, which will remain private, but at this time he's with Middlesbrough, training there to keep fit and stay sharp. He's still a Burnley player, though."

Gibson has made only one appearance this season and pushed for a move away from Burnley in January.

The club statement on Wednesday read: "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."

On reports claiming there had been a row between the defender and Dyche's assistant Ian Woan, the boss said: "At this stage the club statement is correct and anything beyond that will remain private to us."

Dyche insisted he would not close the door on the possibility of Gibson returning but did not sound optimistic that would be the case.

"We'll see," he said. "It's one of those situations where we wait to see what the next step is.

"For us as a club, and equally for him as a player."

Gibson is under contract until 2022 but has made just one Premier League appearance for the Clarets and was wanted by a host of clubs during the January transfer window - with interest coming both at home and abroad, clubs in Germany linked with a loan move.

That included Boro, the club where he started his career and who are owned by his uncle Steve Gibson.

Burnley paid big money to bring him from Teeside at the start of last season but his only league outing saw him score in the 5-1 defeat at home to Everton on Boxing Day 2018, before being replaced just after the hour.

In all he has made six appearances in all competitions for the Clarets with his solitary one this season being in the Carabao Cup exit against Sunderland at Turf Moor back in August.