Nottingham Forest are set to miss out on the signing of Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo, according to The Athletic.
It’s claimed that the player is in advanced talks with Southampton over a transfer worth £6 million to Rangers.
Aribo has a £10 million release clause in his contract and the Gers won’t accept a total package that doesn’t reach that total.
The 25-year-old is set to leave the Gers after rejecting the club’s offer of a new contract.
He signed for the Ibrox-based club in 2019 and he quickly became a mainstay in the team under Steven Gerrard.
His strong form has continued under Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Last season he scored nine goals and claimed ten assists; netting in the Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Forest were linked with a move for Aribo earlier in the window, with Crystal Palace also in the mix.
Ralph Hasenhuttl looks to have won the race though, with talks over personal terms now taking place.
Forest will have lots of irons in the fire but the need for new central midfielders is becoming quite urgent, it has to be said.
Ryan Yates is still at the club, with Jack Colback a very capable option too.
It’s fair to say that Steve Cooper won’t be pinning his hat on Cafu, Braian Ojeda or Tyrese Fornah to do a job in the Premier League, however.
The beauty of Aribo would have been his versatility.
Last season, he operated as a number 10 in the main but proved that he was also capable or playing as a central midfielder.
Forest miss out on Aribo and they must move on quickly
It’s now a case of next man up – or next man on the list as it is in this case.
Aribo looks set to choose Southampton and Forest can ill-afford too many more setbacks in their quest to land another midfielder.
In truth, the Reds probably need two more as a minimum.
Replacing James Garner won’t be easy and who knows if a permanent deal for the Manchester United man could take place later in the window.
Losing out on Aribo is a bit of a blow.
He would have ticked an awful lot of boxes but Forest must move quickly on and try to bolster their midfield ranks as a matter of urgency.