Arsenal have rejected a new bid from Aston Villa for young attacker Emile Smith Rowe as they insist the academy graduate is not for sale.
According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Arsenal have rejected a new £30 million bid from Aston Villa for Emile Smith Rowe. The Gunners firmly insist the player is not for sale as they prepare to extend his contract, which runs for another two years.
Emile Smith Rowe has been a revelation since becoming an integral part of Arsenal’s squad since December. His impact has been so immense that Arsenal has recorded an incredible 67% win rate when the youngster is playing. Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka were the standout players for the club as they finished 8th in the Premier League.
There have been calls for Arsenal to renew Smith Rowe’s contract since the season ended. The club have been in discussion with the player regarding the same but are yet to reach an agreement. The prodigious playmaker himself has reiterated his desire to continue playing at the Emirates, and as things stand, there should be no issues extending the deal.
However, Aston Villa feel there could be an entry into luring Smith Rowe to Villa Park and subsequently lodged an opening bid of £25 million earlier this month. Arsenal swiftly rejected the same. The Villans have added another £5 million to the initial offer and made yet another bid.
However, Arsenal, again, have turned down the approach, stating that they do not want to sell Smith Rowe, and according to Ornstein, they are working hard towards sorting the details of his new contract.
Aston Villa have been acting fast in this transfer window to strengthen their squad. The Premier League side beat Arsenal to the signing of Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City. Now they have set their sights on Smith Rowe to shore up their attacking options further before the new season begins.
Villa might be looking at Smith Rowe as a replacement for Jack Grealish, who is reportedly set to join Manchester City in a big-money move. If that is the case, then it makes sense for Villa to target a player similar to Grealish, and the Arsenal youngster certainly fits the bill. But it seems like their pursuit of the Englishman will not yield results.
Arsenal, however, seem to be on the right track when it comes to transfers and contracts. After renewing Bukayo Saka’s deal last year, the club also extended Kieran Tierney’s deal a few days ago. There are indications that Smith Rowe could be next in line for a renewal, but with Villa’s bids, the pressure is on the Gunners to do so at the earliest.