ASTON VILLA have leapt to the front of the queue in the race to sign Charlton whizkid Joe Aribo.
The midfielder, 22, has had an outstanding season at the Valley but is out of contract in the summer.
PA:Empics Sport1 Aston Villa are leading the race to sign Charlton star Joe Aribo
The Addicks are unlikely to keep hold of him even if they win promotion to the Championship.
They face Sunderland at Wembley in Sunday's League One play-off final.
The Old Firm have been linked with a move – as have even Prem champions Manchester City.
But SunSport understands it is Villa who are currently winning the race for the Camberwell lad's services.
Dean Smith's side have their own play-off final to play on Monday when they take on Derby at Wembley.
But even if they win and are playing Premier League football next year, Villa are still very keen on adding former Staines Town ace Aribo to their ranks.
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Meanwhile, Derby stars will be handed a £10m bonus pot if they sweep the club into the Prem – while Villa’s players would share £6m.
Both clubs will fight out knowing promotion is worth £180m in TV money.
Frank Lampard’s players will get the largest share for victory and it would be handed out to each player on a pro-rata basis.
The same goes for the £6m figure which could be taken by Jack Grealish and his team-mates.