Rangers boss Steven Gerrard confirms Gers have handed Celtic blow as another signing nears

Rangers are on the verge of their seventh signing of the summer with the Charlton Athletic midfielder having had a medical yesterday ahead of a move that will cost the Scottish Premiership club around £300,000 in compensation.

Aribo will sign a four-year deal to move to Ibrox and will jet to Portugal to join the club’s warm-weather training camp ahead of pre-season.

That Rangers landed the player is a major boost given Premier League clubs such as Brighton, Bournemouth, Southampton and Aston Villa were all understood to have been keeping tabs on the 22-year-old.

And Gerrard declared that Aribo – who scored 10 goals as Charlton were promoted to the Championship last term – also had an offer on the table to join their bitter rivals Celtic across the other side of Glasgow.

“We believe there was Premier League and European clubs chasing Joe, which is no surprise,” Gerrard told Sky Sports.

“I think a lot of Championship clubs were there in the hat as well. It obviously came out in the public domain that Celtic had made him an offer as well.

“So, if we manage to get that one over the line, it will be a big coup for us.

“He is something we haven’t got, we haven’t got a left-footed midfielder so, if and when that deal is done, he will give us natural balance.

“He has got an impressive profile, he is dynamic and he has got a lot of parts of his game that are already strong.”

And talking to journalists in Faro, where Rangers are beginning their preparations for their upcoming Europa League qualifiers, Gerrard expanded on why he is so delighted to have secured a deal for Aribo.

He said: “In other people’s minds this might be a statement of intent from us. There were a lot of clubs in for Joe around Europe, in the Premier League and the Championship. There was a lot of interest in him.

“But for me it’s just another top player joining Rangers. This platform is perfect at his stage of development. He’s signing for a top club, it will be a big step up, but I think there’s a lot more to come from him.

“We’re confident we can turn him into an even better player. He has a fantastic profile about him, people will see that for themselves.

“He’s mobile and dynamic. He can burst past a player, create and score goals. There’s still many areas of his game where he can develop but he’ll give us something we’ve not got in the midfield department.

“That’s the key. We have a good midfield, experience and young ones. But we don’t have this type of midfielder with the characteristics of Joe. I’m really looking forward to working with him.

“He’s a guy who can unlock defences. He’s left footed, which is something we don’t have in midfield. So he’ll give us more balance. Joe’s tall, athletic and quick. He’s a box-to-box player and is not afraid to open the door when he gets around the box.

“Last season he got into double figures for goals at Charlton so he’ll help in that department too.

“But it’s important we treat him with a bit of caution as well because he’s still young and there’s a lot to come from him. The challenge for us is to get him where we want him as quickly as possible.”

Aribo will become Rangers’ seventh signing with deals having been reached for George Edmundson and Sheyi Ojo – on loan from Liverpool – last week.

Gerrard also welcome Jordan Jones and Jake Hastie to the club on pre-contract deals reached in January with Greg Stewart another free agent to join the club. Veteran midfielder Steven Davis continues his stay, signing a permanent deal after a six-month loan from Southampton in the second half of the last campaign.

source: express.co.uk