Transfer News: Aston Villa rival Crystal Palace in Joe Aribo pursuit

Premier League side Aston Villa will reportedly go up against Crystal Palace in their pursuit of Rangers star Joe Aribo.

According to The Sun, Aston Villa have joined the race for Rangers star Joe Aribo who also continues to draw attention from Crystal Palace.

The Nigerian international came through the ranks at Kinetic Academy and Staines Town, making his first-team bow for the latter in 2014. He spent just a season with the club before moving to Charlton Athletic in 2015.

His performances at The Valley caught the attention of a resurgent Rangers side who snapped him up in 2019. Aribo has taken his game to a higher level at the Ibrox, developing into a key player during Steven Gerrard’s stint. He has continued his fine form under Giovanni van Bronckhorst and played a key role in the SPL champions reaching the Europa League final.

A reunion with Gerrard could be on the cards as Aston Villa are keen to sign the 25-year-old in the upcoming summer transfer window. The former Rangers boss has had a mixed time at Villa Park, and signing a player he is intimately familiar with could aid him develop the club further.

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Aribo can play in central midfield and is a strong presence in the middle of the pitch. His style could complement John McGinn and help the duo secure the rear of the Aston Villa midfield next season. That should hand Philippe Coutinho, who has officially completed a permanent move to Aston Villa, more freedom to get forward and work his magic. 

Aribo is also capable of kick-starting attacking moves and carrying the ball forward. His ability to also play on the right and upfront makes him a versatile attacker capable of thriving in different setups. At 25, he is also of the right age profile and could offer Aston Villa a strong spine in the years to come.

Aston Villa will have to get the better of Crystal Palace, who are also interested in the 25-year-old. Patrick Vieira’s side have shown much promise this season, even making it to the FA Cup semi-finals. While it does give Crystal Palace a solid base to build upon, they might have to do so sans Conor Gallaher.

The Chelsea loanee looks set to return to Stamford Bridge once his loan expires at the end of the current campaign despite recent comments by Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish. Aribo is a good choice to replace the young Englishman and fill that gap opening up in the Crystal Palace midfield.

Aribo’s contract at The Ibrox runs out in the summer of 2023, and he is yet to pen an extension. Rangers will need to sell him this summer to risk losing him for free in a year’s time. Available for around £10 million, the 25-year-old will certainly be worth the money for Aston Villa or Crystal Palace.

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