Southampton have reportedly stepped up their efforts to sign Rangers star Joe Aribo, with the club apparently beginning negotiations with the Glasgow giants for the midfielder’s services.
The Athletic is reporting that there is mutual interest between the Nigerian international and the Saints.
It also stated that there is a £10 million release clause in his contract.
Aribo’s contract will expire in the summer of 2023, but Rangers apparently are not keen to budge on the price set by that release clause – although they may consider a package totalling £10 million via various bonuses and performance-dependent clauses.
The 25-year-old last played in England for Charlton Athletic in 2019, prior to joining Rangers on a four-year deal via free transfer.
Camberwell-born Aribo featured heavily in Rangers’ Europa League run, featuring in 17 games – scoring the opener in the final against Eintracht Frankfurt, which ultimately ended in a penalty defeat for the Ibrox outfit.
Aribo started his career at now defunct Staines Town in non-league, before being spotted by Charlton after breaking into Staines’ first team as an 18-year-old.
A versatile midfielder who can play wide or centrally, Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst had utilised Aribo as a makeshift striker during an injury crisis last season.