Charlton’s manager Lee Bowyer believes Joe Aribo’s agent is using Arsenal to get him a better deal at the club and is confident the player will sign rather than leave on a free transfer in the summer.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Joe Aribo of Charlton celebrates after scoring his sides third goal to win the match during the Checkatrade Trophy match between Charlton and Fulham at The Valley on November 1, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 01: Joe Aribo of Charlton celebrates after scoring his sides third goal to win the match during the Checkatrade Trophy match between Charlton and Fulham at The Valley on November 1, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

“If it’s true then it’s good on our behalf. It means the job we are doing with him is a good job,” Bowyer said.

“But I think it’s his agent, if I’m honest. I’m not reading too much into that.

“I spoke to Joe last week, I had a meeting with him. He wants to sign and I think it’s just trying to agree with his agent.

“Joe likes it here. He’s learning and improving – that’s all you can say.

“He knows this is a good place for him to be. The lad is improving lots.”

Both Football.London and the Mirror report that Arsenal are hoping to snap up the 22-year-old when his contract expires this summer.

They’d have to pay a training compensation fee for Charlton, as the Addicks developed the Englishman as a youth player. Other than that, the Gunners could bring him in without having to pay a transfer fee, assuming he doesn’t sign an extension before then.

With the likes of Joe Gomez, Jonjo Shelvey, Ademola Lookman and Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson stepping up from Charlton to the Premier League, their academy has a great record for a League One club.

However, they don’t want to lose Aribo, and, as Bowyer says, contract talks are ongoing.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: Joe Aribo of Charlton Athletic leaves the pitch with Alastair Thrush during the Sky Bet League One match between Northampton Town and Charlton Athletic at Sixfields on March 30, 2018 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – MARCH 30: Joe Aribo of Charlton Athletic leaves the pitch with Alastair Thrush during the Sky Bet League One match between Northampton Town and Charlton Athletic at Sixfields on March 30, 2018, in Northampton, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Aribo has made 28 appearances as a central midfielder this season, all in League One, and he’s scored six goals and assisted two in those matches.

A midfielder chipping in with a goal or two would really help Arsenal at the moment, given only Lacazette and Aubameyang have scored more than six goals in all competitions.

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