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.
“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.”
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.
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.