Joe Aribo has sent a parting message to Rangers fans after joining Southampton in a potential £10million deal.
After spells at Staines Town and Charlton Athletic in England, Aribo moved north of the border in July 2019 to sign with Rangers. He joined on a free transfer and it has proven to be an inspired signing from the Gers.
The central midfielder has gone on to become one of Rangers’ best performers in recent years. He made 42 appearances during their Invincibles campaign, during which they won the Scottish Premiership title on 102 points.
Aribo featured 57 times for Rangers last season, chipping in with nine goals and 10 assists. However, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side couldn’t retain their league title and also lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final.
Aribo has been linked with Premier League sides Aston Villa and Crystal Palace in recent months. But it is Southampton who have captured the Nigeria international.
On Wednesday, The Guardian revealed they were close to signing Aribo for an initial £6m. The move could be worth £10m due to add-ons, though.
And the Saints have now confirmed the move, revealing Aribo has signed a contract until June 2026.
Reacting to the switch, Aribo told club media: “It’s an amazing club with a lot of history here, and it’s a good plan with what’s to come next. I’m really excited for the journey.
Joe Aribo excited to shine in the Prem
“The Premier League is the best league in the world. I’ve been watching it since I was a young boy, it’s always been a goal for me to play here and show what I can do on this stage.
“It’s an amazing feeling, a dream come true. This is where I’ve wanted to be since I was a child growing up playing, so to say that I’m here now is really exciting.”
The 25-year-old also sent an emotional farewell message to Rangers fans.
He said: ‘It’s been an amazing journey being part of this special club. I hold Rangers very close to my heart as they gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent on a bigger stage.
‘Playing at Ibrox was a dream and I’m glad I got to experience it. I’m happy I was able to play a part in the historic 55 league title winning season.
‘I’d like to thank everyone associated with this great club for all you’ve done for me during my time here, you’ve always made me feel welcome and I’ve always had your full support.
‘I’ve developed into an even better player, credit to the supporters who always had my back and stayed patient during the tough times.
‘We created a lot of memories together, memories that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my career.
‘I wish the club nothing but the best for the future and I’ll always be checking in.’
Meanwhile, Southampton star Kyle Walker-Peters is reportedly wanted by a Premier League rival.