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Arsenal are going ahead with their contract talks as planned with Emile Smith Rowe as Aston Villa plot another bid.
The midfielder came up through the academy at the Emirates and had a breakthrough campaign under Mikel Arteta.
After a number of stellar displays, the Gunners coach has made Smith Rowe a key part of his starting XI.
Despite his current deal not expiring until 2023, Arsenal are desperate to tie the 20-year-old down to a new long-term contract.
That would include wages and bonuses more befitting his status in the squad which will see his pay packet dramatically shoot up from the current £20,000-a-week deal he is on at the moment.
Emile Smith Rowe is in contract talks with Arsenal
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)
But Aston Villa have emerged as a surprise contender to sign the Englishman after they had a bid rejected earlier this summer.
Despite already breaking the bank to land Emi Buendia from Norwich, ahead of Arsenal as well, Dean Smith is keen on further improving his attack.
The playmaker signed for a club-record £38m from the Canaries, who was also on Arteta's wish list.
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Villa had a £25m bid rejected for Smith Rowe but they will return with a second bid, report the Express & Star.
It comes as speculation over Jack Grealish's future continues, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all interested.
Though no club has met their valuation of the England international, plans are being made that will ensure that they will not suffer if he does leave.
Villa have been put in a similar position before when they lost Ron Vlaar, Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph in one window and none were replaced.
Aston Villa have won the race for Emi Buendia
It saw them finish bottom of the Premier League in 2015 with two managers sacked, leading to three seasons in the Championship.
As for Arsenal, they insist that Smith Rowe will not be sold this transfer window no matter what, Express & Star report.
Arteta views him as a key part of the club's future, especially in a position he already wants to bolster.
Who should Arsenal sign in the transfer window? Leave your comments below.
Martin Odegaard had a fine loan spell since joining in January and bringing him in from Real Madrid on a permanent basis was a priority.
But Carlo Ancelotti wants to see what the Norwegian can do, scuppering Arsenal's plans.
The Gunners are moving on, though, with plenty of transfers in the pipeline in what is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious summers in years at the club.
Brighton defender Ben White looks set to join for £50m while there are moves planned for the likes of Houssem Aouar, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Yves Bissouma, Alexander Isak and Eduardo Camavinga.