Everton set to return with improved offer for Rangers defender Nathan Patterson as Southampton join transfer race for Joe Aribo

The Toffees are likely to return with a £9million bid for the Scotland international in January

Rangers are bracing themselves for an increased offer for Nathan Patterson from English Premier League side Everton as they step up their pursuit of the defender.

The Ibrox club rejected an initial £5million bid for the youngster in the summer, with previous Light Blues manager Steven Gerrard laughing off the valuation as “nowhere near” what the club would accept.

Rangers Nathan Patterson during a UEFA Europa League match between Rangers and Royal Antwerp at Ibrox Stadium, on February 25, 2021, when the substitute scored with his first touch. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Since then Patterson has remained on the fringes of the first-team due to captain James Tavernier remaining the first-choice right-back, making just 11 appearances in all competitions this season, with five of them starts.

However, the Daily Mirror believe Toffees boss Rafa Benitez is still eyeing the Scotland international and report the Goodison Park outfit will return with a bid of around £9m when the January transfer window opens.

The 20-year-old is viewed as a long-term replacement for veteran full-back Seamus Coleman, with several players including former Celtic loanee Jonjoe Kenny failing to nail down a regular starting spot while the Irishman was sidelined through injury.

Patterson’s versatility to operate higher up the pitch as a wing-back or wide midfielder has ensured Benitez remains keen on bringing Gers academy product to Merseyside.

Due to his lack of game-time, Patterson could be keen on a move down south but Gers officials will be reluctant to sell their highly-rated prodigy.

Meanwhile, Southampton are the latest Premier League club to register an interest in midfielder Joe Aribo.

Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo has been in sparkling form for the Scottish champions in recent weeks. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old has been a standout under Giovanni van Bronckhorst in recent weeks and has already racked up 31 appearances, six goals and four assists this season.

His impressive form has alerted several English clubs with Brentford, Burnley, Watford and Aston Villa also linked with a January move as he enters the final 18 months of his contract.

The St Mary’s side reportedly sent a scout to Ibrox to watch the Nigerian in action against Dundee United on Saturday.