Aston Villa have stepped up their interest in Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe by making a formal bid for the player, according to The Telegraph.
What's the latest news involving Smith Rowe?
It is understood that they have now offered £25m for the 20-year-old as they try to tempt him away from the Gunners.
What is Arsenal's stance on Smith Rowe?
Arsenal have rejected Villa's initial offer and they reportedly have no intention of selling Smith Rowe. The north London club are currently in advanced talks with the creative midfielder over a contract extension.
He still has two years remaining on his deal at Arsenal, but transfer expert Fabrizio Romano confirmed last week that Smith Rowe is close to signing a new contract with Mikel Arteta's side which will keep him at the club until June 2026.
This suggests that Villa are unlikely to be successful in landing Smith Rowe in the coming weeks.
What were Smith Rowe's stats in 2020/21?
Smith Rowe did not feature for Arsenal until November this term, but he made up for lost time when he did get into the team.
After delivering goal contributions in each of his first three Europa League appearances, the rising star was handed his first league start on Boxing Day against Chelsea, and he did not disappoint.
He provided an assist against the Blues in a 3-1 win, and then went on to be directly involved in goals during wins over West Brom, Newcastle and Leeds over the next two months.
Smith Rowe's Premier League displays earned him a call-up for England Under-21s in March, and he started both of the side's first two group games at the European Championships.
Are Villa becoming a thorn in the side of Arsenal?
It seems that way.
Only last week, they managed to pull off the signing of Norwich winger Emiliano Buendia, a player who Arsenal had also wanted to buy.
Now, Villa are trying to swoop for one of Arsenal's brightest young talents in Smith Rowe, indicating that they are not afraid to ruffle a few feathers in the transfer market.
Whether they can get a deal over the line remains to be seen, but they are certainly showing ambition in the early stages of the transfer window, and only days after beating Arsenal to Buendia, they appear to be disrupting Arteta's summer plans once more by going after a player that the three-time Premier League champions are trying to tie down to a new long-term contract.
This is yet another indicator of Villa's ambition under Edens & Sawiris with recent reports claiming the club's owners want to be regularly challenging for a top four spot moving forwards.News Now - Sport News