Rangers legend Barry Ferguson believes it is only a matter of time before Ibrox attacker Joe Aribo becomes a target for English clubs, including his old boss Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa.
Ferguson claims Aribo is worth around £15million, having been signed by Gerrard during his successful spell in charge in Glasgow for just £300,000 from League One outfit Charlton Athletic.
The 25-year-old has scored four goals in his last seven outings, with former Villa midfielder Ray Houghton predicting that a January bid from his old club is forthcoming.
And Ferguson also thinks Rangers will listen to an appropriate offer.
Gerrard currently has a plethora of attacking options to choose from at Villa Park. His choices include the likes of Ollie Watkins, Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendia and Danny Ings.
But despite that strength in depth, Ferguson still thinks Villa could strike for Aribo.
Writing in his column for the Daily Record, Ferguson said: “It’s so vital he hangs around for at least the rest of the current campaign because it seems inevitable now that someone is going to come knocking when the window opens, be it Gerrard or some other manager from England’s top flight.
Aston Villa striker Wesley likely on the move in January.
Aston Villa striker Wesley, currently on loan at Club Brugge, will likely be on the move once again in January, given his lack of game time.
“They all know Rangers are looking to trade their top players because the board has been pretty open about it.
“If an offer comes in that matches the club’s valuation then they’ll do business.
“But Aribo should be the exception to the rule. I’d put a price tag of around £15m on him at this moment, which is £5m more than I would have said just a few weeks ago.”
Arsenal tipped to move for Villa man
Meanwhile, former Arsenal striker Alan Smith feels Mikel Arteta should look to sign Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins ahead of Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The Gunners may be in the market for a new hitman. Alexandre Lacazette will be out of contract in the summer and has shown no signs of extending his stay in north London. And, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang currently out of the picture due to disciplinary reasons, Arteta might act in January.
Calvert-Lewin has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates. The 24-year-old bagged 21 goals from 39 appearances in all competitions last term.
He has been capped 11 times by England and responded with four goals. Injury has robbed the Toffees of their hitman for most of the current campaign to date.
The Sheffield-born ace has made just three appearances in 2021-2022. And he scored in each match, the last being a 2-0 triumph over Brighton in late August.
Rafa Benitez’s side has suffered in his absence, winning just three top-flight games while he has been sidelined. Reports earlier this week suggested the capital outfit were considering a move for the former Sheffield United star.
But Smith has his doubts over the Goodison man and has urged them to switch focus to the West Midlands.
“I wouldn’t say Calvert-Lewin is an ideal fit for Arsenal,” he told Sky Sports. “In many ways he’s an old-fashioned centre-forward and he loves balls being swung into the box. There’s not many better at getting his head to the ball and attacking it.
“In terms of his movement, maybe Ollie Watkins is a striker I’d have thought Arsenal would look at, but are they looking at him?”