Southampton close to buying Rangers’ Joe Aribo after Roméo Lavia signs

Southampton are close to a deal to buy Joe Aribo from Rangers for £6m plus add-ons and have announced the signing of Roméo Lavia from Manchester City. The fee for Lavia is an initial £12m and City have a £40m buyback clause.

Aribo, a Nigeria international, has been with Rangers since 2019 and previously played in League One for Charlton. The 25-year-old appeared in all 15 of Rangers’ games in the Europa League last season, starting 13, and scored in the final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

He began that match as a centre-forward and is capable of playing in variety of positions in midfield and attack.

The 18-year-old Lavia has played twice for City – starting in a 6-1 Carabao Cup victory over Wycombe, and a brief FA Cup substitute’s appearance against Swindon – and is a Belgium youth international. The defensive midfielder has a five-year contract and Southampton’s manager, Ralph Hasenhüttl, said: “We are very excited to sign him ahead of many other interested clubs.”

The moves come as Joe Shields prepares to join Southampton after nine years at City, where his most recent role was head of academy recruitment. Southampton have also signed the goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu from City for £12m as well as another goalkeeper, Mateusz Lis, and the defender Armel Bella-Kotchap from Bochum.