Southampton are set to make a move for Charlton Athletic midfielder Joe Aribo this summer, according to The Express.
The League One stand-out is out of contract at the end of the season and according to the paper has made it clear he won’t be staying with the Addicks whether they gain promotion to the Championship or not.
The report states Southampton had scouts watching him in action during Charlton’s recent play-off win over Doncaster Rovers and are looking to beat both Man City and Arsenal to his signature, as well as Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers.
Aribo is certainly showing excellent potential in the third-tier, scoring 10 goals and assisting 5 times from midfield this term.
Still just 22 years of age, the Englishman appears to be ready to take the next big step in his career and wouldn’t be the first from the division to join elite sides in recent years, with the likes of Dele Alli and Josh Maja winning moves to Tottenham and Bordeaux.
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Opportunity would be the main reason to forego the riches of the Etihad and Emirates to sign up at St Mary’s.
That’s not to say Southampton have a team of wasters ready to be replaced by League One talents, but the pathway to first-team appearances at Saints is much clearer than joining the super-rich top six sides.
If Aribo wants to make a career for himself in the Premier League then it makes sense to build his reputation at a mid-table club first and foremost.
Ralph Hasenhuttl is an ambitious manager who will be hoping Southampton can finish higher up the Premier League next term and being a key part of that rise could be more beneficial to Aribo’s development than warming Pep Guardiola’s bench.