Aston Villa transfer target Emile Smith Rowe is close to signing a new deal at Arsenal, according to the Evening Standard.
What’s the latest transfer news on Smith Rowe?
However, these bids were both knocked back by the Gunners, who have been negotiating a contract extension with Smith Rowe in the meantime.
A new contract is now close to being agreed between Smith Rowe and Arsenal, with it being reported that talks between the two parties have entered the final stages, and that the attacking midfielder will sign on the dotted line shortly.
Is this update likely to surprise Villa?
The writing seemed to be on the wall for Villa when Mikel Arteta spoke to the media earlier this week about Smith Rowe’s future.
As quoted by the Evening Standard, when asked whether Smith Rowe would still be an Arsenal player by the end of the transfer window, Arteta said: “Without a question, yes. He will stay here, 100 per cent.”
There seemed to be no doubt in Arteta’s mind, and so it is likely that Villa knew from this point that Smith Rowe would not be joining them this summer.
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Does this mean Villa’s pursuit of Smith Rowe will come to an end?
Villa have been relentless in their pursuit of Smith Rowe over the past month but it seems that this transfer saga is set to come to an end.
The youngster, who racked up eight assists in all competitions for Arsenal in 2020/21, appears to have made his decision about staying at the Emirates, and at this stage it seems that Villa have very little chance of changing his mind.
Has Villa’s pursuit already served a purpose in the transfer market?
Having made the jump from being in a relegation battle in 2019/20 to finishing in mid-table last term, some clubs may have rested on their laurels this summer.
Villa have not done that at all, though. Instead, they have shown confidence and ambition in going after a highly-rated talent who plays for one of the biggest clubs in the country.
Their pursuit ultimately looks likely to end unsuccessfully but by going after Smith Rowe they have sent out a message that they are ready to push on again next year, and by continuing with this bold approach, Villa could go on to land some major signings in the remaining weeks of the transfer window.