Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on Aston Villa’s hunt for Emile Smith Rowe following recent reports about his future at Arsenal.
The 20-year-old had his first real taste of first-team football at the Emirates Stadium this past campaign, having been very much a fringe player in previous seasons, interspersed with two spells out on loan to RB Leipzig and Huddersfield Town. And he certainly made good use of his opportunities, scoring seven goals and chipping in with eight assists for his teammates.
Obviously happy with what they saw, the club have opened up contract negotiations with him in recent months, although his future has been brought into question somewhat, with reports that Aston Villa have been showing a strong interest in him, although the Gunners have knocked back all approaches for him so far.
However, speaking on CBS Sports’ Que Golazo, Romano appeared to signal that Smith Rowe’s chances of making the move to Villa Park looked slim, as he felt it more likely that he would sign a contract extension rather than move:
“He’s not signed yet. But before Emile was going to holiday this summer, he had like a verbal agreement ready with Arsenal, this is what I know.
“So he’s waiting to come back from holiday and then to meet with Arsenal, complete some details and then sign the new contract with Arsenal.
“So from Smith Rowe’s side, he wants to stay at Arsenal, many times he said about he’s living his dream playing for Arsenal, he wants to stay and Arsenal are so happy with him. So if someone wants to break the agreement, verbal agreement between Smith Rowe and Arsenal, they need to break the bank.
“So my feeling is that Smith Rowe is staying, and they’re gonna extend this contract because as I said, some weeks ago, it was already prepared.”
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Would you be happy to see Smith-Rowe sign a new deal at Arsenal?
If Romano’s claims on the situation are right, then this should put an end to Villa’s pursuit of the 20-year-old.
Whilst they are clearly trying to take some steps forward as a club with big signings such as that of Emiliano Buendia, there does need to come a time where they know that they aren’t going to win this particular battle and just move on to the next target to focus on. There’s no point chasing after someone like this, who seems adamant to stick around at his current club.
At least by making these moves early, they have given themselves the wiggle room to move on to another target rather than leaving it right until the last minute and being forced to change things drastically – which is a credit to how well organised they appear to be during this window so far.