Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has suggested that mystery last-minute transfer talks were to blame as Rangers star Joe Aribo reportedly arrived late to camp [All Nigeria Soccer].

The Super Eagles are currently preparing for a pair of World Cup Qualifiers against Liberia and Cape Verde on Friday and next Tuesday respectively.


Aribo is expected to feature for Nigeria against Liberia on Friday. (Photo by Allsport Co./Getty Images)

Leon Balogun jetted off to Lagos soon after Rangers’ 1-0 win over Celtic on Sunday but Aribo reportedly only arrived in Nigeria on Wednesday.

The reason for his late arrival, according to Rohr, was transfer talks.

“We are ready, we are still missing two players or three, they will arrive tonight or tomorrow,” he said on Tuesday.

“These players were concerned by transfer problems so they could not be here with us since yesterday.”

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According to All Nigeria Soccer, the players referred to by the manager, who have all since arrived, were Aribo, Paul Onuachu of Genk and Chidoze Awaziem of Boavista.

Nigeria v Iceland: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Nigeria boss Rohr has suggested that Rangers star Aribo was involved in transfer negotiations prior to arriving at their camp. (Photo by Lars Baron – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Late transfer talks for Aribo?

There wasn’t as much speculation about Aribo during the course of the summer transfer window as there was about his teammates Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent and Glen Kamara.

However, All Nigeria Soccer did report in July that an unnamed Premier League club had concrete interest in the 25-year-old, while back in May, Sporx credited Turkish giants Galatasaray with interest.

It would have been a substantial blow for the Gers if they had lost Aribo late on in the window, given his strong recent form and ability to play both in midfield and as an inside forward.

Yet, as he is only contracted until 2023, Rangers’ chances of making a big profit on the ex-Charlton star are decreasing.

Neither Aribo nor Balogun will be available for Nigeria’s second World Cup Qualifier of this international block, much to the disappointment of Rohr.

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