Southampton: 20-cap star will sign 'pretty soon' at St Mary's

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Southampton are set to sign Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo ‘pretty soon’, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Saints have long been linked with a move for the talented 25-year-old who has impressed throughout his three-year stay with the Glasgow giants.

What is the latest news involving Aribo?

David Ornstein of The Athletic reported that Southampton ‘are in negotiations’ with Rangers for Aribo, who only has 12 months remaining on his current contract.

It’s claimed that the 20-cap Nigeria international’s existing deal has ‘always included a £10 million release clause,’ and Ornstein states that the Gers will not accept a total package below that value.

Aribo, meanwhile, is said to be happy to join Ralph Hasenhuttl’s charges and a contract spanning a minimum of four years is reportedly being prepared.

If Southampton are able to bring the 6 foot ace to St. Mary’s then they will have beaten off competition from the likes of Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa, who were also credited with an interest.

What has O’Rourke said about Aribo?

Hasenhuttl has already brought in Gavin Bazunu, Mateusz Lis, Armel Bella-Kotchap, with Romeo Lavia also set to join from Manchester City, and O’Rourke believes Aribo will be the next player through the door.

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He told GiveMeSport: “I think Rangers have decided to maybe think we’ve got to cash-in on Aribo, and Southampton have made an offer which is deemed to be acceptable.

“So, it seems he will be a Southampton player pretty soon, and Rangers will have money in their pocket to try and go and find a replacement for him.”

Where will Aribo fit in at Southampton?

Aribo showcased himself to be an extremely intelligent footballer throughout his time with Rangers, capable of playing in multiple positions without experiencing a drop-off in performance.

Predominantly, though, the creative talent was deployed as an attacking midfielder through the middle or on the right-wing, providing Hasenhuttl with plenty of options.

The Austrian tactician has favoured a 4-2-2-2 formation during his time in the Southampton dugout, which means Aribo is most likely to find himself on the flanks should he complete the switch to the south coast.

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Southampton's Sadio Mane Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien

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In 148 appearances for Rangers across all competitions, Aribo racked up 51 goal contributions, claiming one Scottish Premiership title and one Scottish Cup crown.

His signing could prove to be an extremely astute acquisition for Southampton, who will be hoping to put a disappointing end to last season behind them when the new campaign kicks off next month.

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