Ex-Scotland midfielder Barry Ferguson believes Nigeria international Joe Aribo is a top midfielder and it is the reason why the Premier League teams like Southampton are interested in his signature.
The Super Eagle had an arguably excellent season with Scottish top-tier side Rangers last season. The Gers reached the final of the Europa League where they played Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt.
Aribo scored as the teams played out a 1-1 draw in both the regulation and extra time before the German outfit won 5-4 in the ensuing penalty shootout. However, the versatile Nigerian played a vital role as his team claimed the Scottish Cup.
The 25-year-old is into the final 12 months of his contract and his current club might consider selling him instead of letting him leave on a free transfer.
Ferguson admitted the exit rumours are a worry for the fans but there is also a financial aspect to consider.
"I can see why they [Southampton] are interested in him," the former Birmingham star told Go Radio as quoted by Glasgow Live.
"He [Aribo] has grown into a top midfielder with some of his performances. He is a top level player and there's been a number of clubs linked.
"That will be a worry for the Rangers fans but money talks. But if that valuation is met and he doesn't want to commit to Rangers, they might need to do business.
"I would like to think they are trying to get him on a longer term contract."
Aribo played 70 matches last season, becoming the only player in Europe’s top divisions to reach the mark in a single season.
Fifty-seven of those games were for Rangers - he scored nine goals and provided 10 assists in the 2021/22 campaign.
He was part of the Nigeria squad that took part in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe.
The former Charlton Athletic star played the entire 90 minutes as the Super Eagles kicked off their campaign to reach the Ivory Coast finals with a 2-1 win against the Leone Stars at Abuja National Stadium.
However, coach Jose Peseiro did not pick the player for their second Group A fixture as they demolished Sao Tome 10-0 at Stade Adrar in Morocco.