BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Joe Aribo has been urged to keep playing his football in England – even if he does not sign a new contract with Charlton Athletic.
That is the message from Addicks’ head of recruitment Steve Gallen, who is still hoping that the 22-year-old Camberwell-born midfielder extends his stay in SE7.
Aribo’s deal runs out at the end of this month but because he is under the age of 24 it entitles Charlton to compensation.
That figure would be greatly reduced if the player chooses to move outside of England.
“We’ve offered Joe contracts – we’ve been talking for months and months,” said Gallen.
“I’ve also read the stories about Celtic and Rangers [being interested]. We really hope he doesn’t go. The main thing for us is that, number one, we want Joe to stay. That’s 100 per cent, no question about that.
“But if Joe does decide to go then we’d really like him to go English, for a couple of reasons. One, because that is the best place for him to go to – the best place to develop his career. Lee [Bowyer] 100 per cent believes that, he has said it on countless occasions.
“And two, because if he did go to a club in England then our club would get recompensed. We would get a fair valuation of his worth.
“If he goes cross-border then the club won’t.
“The way I see it is pure and simple, we don’t get to see any of that money – and we don’t get any of it to spend.
“If he went to Middlesbrough – and that’s a purely hypothetical example – for let’s say £2million then that would be a fair amount of money, I think, for his years in the academy.
“It is a pat on the back for Steve Avory [academy boss] and people like that. But if he goes to Hoffenheim and we get 300,000 euros, then it’s not.
“I have spoken to Joe about this quite a few times, and so has Lee.
“I don’t think it would be fair for Charlton Athletic Football Club if he went cross-border and we only receive a small fee.
“If he does leave then we hope it is in agreement with us – whatever club it is – everyone is happy, we shake hands and move on.
“Certainly the bottom line is that we want Joe to stay and we’ve made him a really good contract offer.”