Former Premier League striker Noel Whelan has made an intriguing claim regarding the future of Glasgow Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo.
The lowdown: Wanted man
This comes following a report from Football Insider claiming that some English top-flight clubs are ‘keeping tabs’ on the 25-year-old ahead of a potential summer swoop.
Since then, former Gers boss Steven Gerrard has been linked with forming a reunion with Aribo at Aston Villa, despite the 19-cap Nigeria international insisting that he is ‘not thinking about leaving’ in the upcoming transfer window.
With just one year remaining on his deal at Ibrox (Transfermarkt), the Rangers hierarchy certainly have a decision to make over the player’s future, and one onlooker has had his say on what could happen next…
The latest: Whelan sounds Aribo warning
Speaking to Football Insider, ex-Aberdeen striker Whelan has suggested that Aribo could be playing to the gallery with his latest comments.
The one-time BBC pundit said: “I don’t think he’s going to want to overcommit to anything, is he? He’s going to take his time. I think he’s earned that right with the performances he’s put in for Glasgow Rangers.
“Look, he’s in a very good position and he knows that. He’s been looked at by some top English clubs – even his old manager in Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa. It’s not an easy one, but he’s in the strongest position. He knows he’s got a year left.
“He’s in that place, one year left, where he can possibly force Rangers’ hand and get them to sell.”
The verdict: Tough call
With nine goals and 10 assists in 57 appearances across all competitions, Aribo was certainly firing on all cylinders in the 2021/22 campaign, and it’s no surprise that clubs from south of the border would be taking a closer look at the London-born maestro.
However, Rangers either need to tie down the man hailed for a ‘sensational’ strike in a resounding 4-1 victory over Dundee United in February 2021, or else cash in this summer in order to achieve maximum incomings from their £9m-valued asset.
While the 25-year-old is clearly an integral part of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s plans given how much he played this season, keeping Aribo beyond the summer with no new deal would leave the Glasgow giants in a dangerous position, as they then risk losing a healthy influx of money and a key player for nothing in 12 months’ time.
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