Arsenal have rejected a massive £25m offer from Aston Villa for talented youngster Emile Smith Rowe, according to the Athletic (subscription required).
The Athletic report that the Gunners have turned down the bid, with the North London outfit holding no intention of selling the 20-year-old attacking midfielder as they instead look to tie down a new contract.
Smith Rowe has been highly-rated for years but made his breakthrough and showed his worth as a first-team regular with a brilliant performance when he was called on in a win against Chelsea on Boxing Day.
The England Under-21s international has primarily featured as a central attacking midfielder (No.10) this season, but Mikel Arteta has also deployed Smith Rowe on the left-wing quite a few times.
Smith Rowe moving to Villa would be the last thing that Arsenal fans would like to see, owing to his potential and the fact that the West Midlands outfit just beat them to the signing of Emiliano Buendia.
Villa’s recruitment of Buendia and this audacious swoop signal the club’s intent, just as one of our reporters exclusively revealed two months ago, as they look to match the ambition of Jack Grealish.
The Athletic note that Smith Rowe joined the North London outfit’s academy at the age of 10, fans would be absolutely devastated if a talent, whose now making his mark at senior level, was sold anytime soon.
Smith Rowe made 33 first-team appearances in a breakthrough campaign this season, with the lively attacker contributing four goals and seven assists along the way.