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According to the Daily Record, Premier League club Southampton are the current favourites to sign Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo.

The Saints and Crystal Palace have a long-standing interest in the Nigerian international and lately, Nottingham Forest has also joined the race. But as per the rumours, a move to the St Mary’s looks the most likely.

Joe Aribo was one the standout players for Rangers FC in the previous season and he was a major factor in helping the club reach the Europa League finals.

He played in 34 league games last season, scoring eight and assisting five goals and even though he is a central midfielder he can be used as a holding midfielder, a winger and also a No 10.

As per the rumours, there is a release clause in Aribo’s contract but since his deal expires next summer, Rangers are ready to cash in on him this transfer window rather than lose him as a free agent.

Rangers are about to begin their pre-season preparations but Aribo is on an extended holiday due to his international commitments with Nigeria. The Gers are reportedly eager to clear the air about his future before the new season begins and by the looks of it, he is heading to Southampton.

Joe Aribo has admitted that while he has heard all the rumours, he’s not distracted with all the buzz.

“With all that stuff I don’t really read into it and I just focus on my football,” Aribo told BBC Sports.

“Because you can’t have distractions as it won’t allow you to play the best and be the best that you want to be. Which is obviously what I want to be every time I play. I just want to be focused and ready to go.”

Southampton won’t be able to bring back Connor Gallagher from Chelsea which makes Joe Aribo the ideal replacement next season.

With the Saints, he will have the best chance of playing regularly so we think the midfielder is likely to choose a move to the St Mary’s Stadium over the likes of Palace or Nottingham Forest.

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