Aston Villa transfer rumours: Fabrizio Romano delivers update on future of young Villa target

Arsenal midfielder and Aston Villa target Emile Smith Rowe in action

Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Arsenal attacker Emile Smith Rowe is set to sign a new long-term contract with the club.

Who has Smith Rowe been linked with?

A report surfaced last week claiming that Aston Villa were monitoring Smith Rowe's situation, and were interested in signing the youngster as they look to add a creative midfielder to their ranks this summer.

However, that now seems unlikely after Romano revealed that the 20-year-old is on the verge of signing a contract extension with the Gunners.

What did Romano say about Smith Rowe?

Romano broke the news on Twitter on Tuesday evening, explaining that Smith Rowe had been in talks with Arsenal over the last three months, and that a deal had now been agreed between the two parties. 

He said: "Emile Smith-Rowe is ready to sign a new contract with Arsenal until June 2026 after negotiations started in March. Just waiting last details to be completed - then it’ll be done."

Could Villa still sign him?

It's not impossible that they could, but it now seems extremely likely that they won't.

With Smith Rowe on the brink of tying himself down to Arsenal for the next five years, it appears pretty clear that he sees his future at the Emirates. Having come through the team's academy, he has previously been loaned out to RB Leipzig and Huddersfield, suggesting that it cannot be completely ruled out that he may leave Arsenal on a temporary basis again in the future.

However, he established himself in the side in the second half of last season, making 20 Premier League appearances in total, so it seems that he is clearly part of Mikel Arteta's plans moving forwards. It would be a major surprise if Arsenal decided to let him go anytime soon.

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Is this a blow for Villa?

It could be argued that this is a setback for Villa.

Following the recent news that the club have agreed a deal for Norwich's Emiliano Buendia, the side appear to have excellent options out wide for next season if they can keep hold of Jack Grealish, who has been linked with a move away this summer.

Yet they need a little more of an attacking threat from that no. 10 position. Ross Barkley looked like he might be the perfect signing for Villa at the start of this season when he scored in his first two games for the club, but he then only found the net once more in the league in the rest of the campaign.

He failed to kick on, leaving Villa looking for that added creativity from midfield heading into this summer's transfer window. They appeared to have identified the ideal player to provide this in Smith Rowe, but he now looks set to stay at Arsenal, indicating that Villa will now have to look elsewhere to fill this role.

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