Arsenal forward Emile Smith Rowe is close to signing a new contract, according to reports. Aston Villa have had bids rejected for him this summer.
After having spells with RB Leipzig and Huddersfield Town, Smith Rowe established himself as a first-team regular for Arsenal last season.
The Englishman had only played 12 games for the Gunners at senior level up until the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
But Smith Rowe established himself as a regular for Arsenal last season. It was a disappointing campaign for them as they failed to secure a place in Europe. But the attacker was one of their most impressive players in 2020/21.
The 20-year-old was involved in 14 goals from his 37 outings across all competitions. Aston Villa have had two offers rejected for him this summer. The second was worth around £30m.
They add that the negotiations are in “the final stages” and that Mikel Arteta “sees him as a big part of the club’s future” going forward.
Elsewhere, Kevin Campbell has suggested that Arsenal find themselves in a “unique situation” with Alexandre Lacazette.
The forward joined the Gunners in 2017 from Lyon for a club-record fee of around £46.5m plus add-ons.
Lacazette has netted 50 times for the Londoners from his 128 appearances. Campbell has encouraged Arsenal to “roll the dice” with the forward’s contract:
“Arsenal have shot themselves in the foot so many times over player contracts.
“I think this is a unique situation with Lacazette though. If you are not sure about which striker to bring in, you have just got to roll the dice with Lacazette’s contract. They have done it in the past with Aubameyang and it worked out.
“If they are not going to agree on a new deal, it is obviously something that will be addressed next summer.
“Listen, maybe they could get money for him but if he stays he will be integral to how we play next season. He did well all things considered last season.
“I have no problem with him staying and leaving on a free next summer. The Covid situation has made things difficult.”