Mikel Arteta has stated that Emile Smith Rowe will not be leaving Arsenal this summer despite interest from Aston Villa.
The 20-year-old, who scored as the Gunners succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Hibernian in their first pre-season fixture of the campaign, has been subject of two failed transfer bids this summer.
After an excellent breakout season Arsenal are trying to tie him down to a long-term contract to ensure that his long-term future lies at the Emirates.
And although nothing is signed and official yet Arteta revealed to press after the match at Easter Road that he fully expects Smith Rowe to sign an extension.
“Without a question,” said the Spaniard when asked if he was determined to keep the Hale Ender in North London.
“Yes. He will stay here. 100%.”
Despite Arsenal’s confidence, Smith Rowe has received interest from Aston Villa this summer who have submitted two bids, believed to be in the region of £25million and £30million.
Many have viewed these offers as derisory from Dean Smith’s side, who have already beaten the Gunners to Emi Buendia this summer.
While he refused to say whether or not he agreed with that point of view, Arteta did imply that he would not even be willing to entertain that kind of a transfer.
“No comment” he said when asked about them.
There was some thinking that the England under-21 international could be set to switch shirt numbers for Tuesday’s pre-season friendly against Hibs as an indicator that he could be set to sign a long-term deal with Arsenal.
Mesut Ozil’s number 10 shirt is still available after the German’s departure in January, but appearing as a second half substitute Smith Rowe sported the same number 32 as with last campaign.
football.london understands the deal is far from finalised, although the Gunners remain confident that he will commit his future to the club this summer.
Source by Football London