Joe Aribo 'in pole position' over Rangers contract negotiations

Joe Aribo is in ‘pole position’ the longer Rangers are unable to tie the in-demand midfielder down to an extended contract, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Aribo has entered the final year-and-a-half of his £14,000-per-week contract, leading to major question marks over where his long-term future lies.

What’s the latest news involving Aribo?

According to The Scottish Sun, Rangers are set to open talks over Aribo potentially extending his stay at Ibrox.

The report suggests boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst sees the 25-year-old as a ‘very important’ member of his squad and the Dutchman has called for the hierarchy to ensure long-term plans are put in place.

However, All Nigeria Soccer have claimed Rangers are prepared to sell Aribo for a cut-price fee when the transfer window reopens in the summer.

It comes amid interest from Premier League sides Crystal Palace, Watford, Brentford, Southampton and Aston Villa, who are looking to take advantage of the 15-cap Nigeria international’s precarious contract situation.

Rangers are reportedly seeking £10million for Aribo’s services and he has been placed at the top of Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira’s wishlist.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Aribo?

O’Rourke understands Rangers would rather keep Aribo at the club but fears they are gradually moving into a weaker position by allowing the contract saga to continue.

The journalist believes the reigning Scottish Premiership champions could be left with no option but to sell the central midfielder, hinting Aribo may make huge wage demands due to knowing of extensive interest.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “Rangers would love to tie him down to a new contract. But the longer his contract drags on without him signing, it puts the player in pole position.

“Rangers might have to be forced to sell him if that’s what continues to happen.”

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Ibrox Stadium 1 - Rangers

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Would Aribo be a big loss for Rangers?

Van Bronckhorst was appointed as Steven Gerrard’s successor in November, but the change in the dugout has not resulted in a change of fortunes for Aribo.

The former Charlton Athletic man has been productive in the final third of the pitch and maintained his status as a regular starter under the Dutchman.

Aribo is closing in on 130 appearances for his current employers and wrote his name into the Glasgow giants’ history books last season.

He played a key role as Rangers put a stop to their decade-long wait for the Scottish Premiership title, ending arch-rivals Celtic’s nine-year domestic dominance.

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