Arsenal: Arteta impressed by Smith Rowe's development
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Arsenal have reportedly rejected a £25million bid from Aston Villa for attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe. Smith Rowe’s contract at Arsenal expires in 2023 and the Gunners have been sent a strong warning to get a new deal signed as quickly as possible.
Smith Rowe burst onto the scene under Mikel Arteta in the Boxing Day win over Chelsea last season.
The Arsenal academy graduate became a regular fixture in the first team, even following the arrival of Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid.
However, uncertainty will remain over his future at the club until Arsenal can pen him down to a long-term contract.
And Villa have given a stark warning to Arsenal that there will be plenty of interest in the 20-year-old.
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The Athletic says Villa have made a £25m offer, which has been turned down.
Arsenal have no intention in selling Smith Rowe and will do what they can to keep him at the club.
Negotiations over a new contract began in April but an agreement is yet to be reached.
Smith Rowe scored two goals and grabbed four assists in 20 Premier League appearances last term.
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He, along with Bukayo Saka, was a shining light in an otherwise hugely disappointing season on the pitch for Arteta’s side.
Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League for a second successive campaign.
However, this time they missed out on European qualification altogether for the first time in over two-and-a-half decades.
Villa have already signed an attacking midfielder this summer, bringing in Emi Buendia from Norwich in a deal which could rise to £38m.
Arsenal were interested in Buendia and saw a bid of around £30m turned down by the Canaries.
Villa came back with an improved offer and secured their man earlier this month.
Arsenal will not want to lose out in Buendia and then sell Smith Rowe.
Arteta is still keen to bring in a No 10 in this transfer window, even with Smith Rowe staying.
Odegaard remains the top target but reports suggest he is likely to stay with Real next season.
Leicester City star James Maddison has emerged as a potential target for the Gunners.
Real Betis’ Nabil Fekir has also been linked with a move to the Emirates.
Meanwhile, the Premier League fixtures for next season were announced on Wednesday morning.
Arsenal will visit newly-promoted Brentford on the weekend of August 14.
Their first home match will be against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea a week later.
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