Aston Villa are not giving up in their pursuit of Arsenal star Emile Smith-Rowe and have submitted a second bid for the English midfielder. The Gunners have rejected the bid, making it clear that the player is not for sale.
The 20-year-old midfielder was brought into the first-team during the Christmas period last year, and was given a consistent run in the second-half of the campaign. He was instrumental in helping Arsenal distance themselves from the bottom half of the table, which had them fighting for a European place by the end of the campaign.
Mikel Arteta was impressed with his contribution and has absolutely no intention of letting him leave the club. Smith-Rowe has two years remaining on his current deal, but Arsenal are keen to tie him down to a new long-term deal. However, they are yet to reach an agreement.
According to the The Athletic, the lack of a breakthrough in the contract talks between Arsenal and Smith-Rowe has empowered Villa to pursue a transfer. After having their initial £25 million offer rejected, the Midlands club has now returned with a proposal of around £30 million.
Arsenal have again rejected the bid and made it clear that Smith-Rowe is not for sale this summer. However, Villa will not be deterred in their pursuit of the England youth international and could return with another bid if the Gunners fail to agree a new deal before the end of the summer transfer window.
The Emirates Stadium outfit recently agreed a new long-term deal with Kieran Tierney and according to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Smith-Rowe is next on the agenda. The club is said to have offered the Englishman a deal until the summer of 2026.
Arteta is keen to retain Smith-Rowe and add more creative flair to his midfield. The north London club lost out to Villa in their pursuit of Emiliano Buendia, but have now been linked to Leicester City's James Maddison and a move for former loanee Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid.