Arsenal bid for £17m Aouar as Gunners hold ‘positive’ Smith Rowe contract talks

It promises to be a busy summer in north London as Arsenal look to recover from a disappointing season where they finished eighth and were knocked out of the Europa League by Unai Emery’s Villarreal.

Mikel Arteta has already made his first signing of the summer after recruiting Portuguese full-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica for a reported £8.5million fee.

But the Spaniard is unlikely to stop at one new arrival after seeing a host of names head for the exit this summer including David Luiz and Dani Ceballos.

It is believed the Gunners are actively pursuing a deal for Brighton’s versatile defender Ben White amid reports their first bid of £40m was rejected by the Seagulls.

Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, 22, is likely to complete his £18m switch from Anderlecht to replace Granit Xhaka, who looks set to join Jose Mourinho at AS Roma.

Mirror Football rounds up the latest transfer news and gossip coming out of the Emirates Stadium…

Gunners make £17m Aouar bid

Arsenal have reportedly lodged a £17m bid for Houssem Aouar, reports in France suggest

Arsenal have reportedly made an offer for Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar but could face a battle for his signature with north London rivals Tottenham.

The French giants are looking to offload some of their stars to raise funds after Ligue 1’s £400million TV deal with Mediapro collapsed, leaving clubs with a black hole and in desperate need to recuperate some of their earnings.

Lyon are one of many clubs with players who could leave in the transfer window and, having quoted Arsenal £52m for Aouar last summer, the 23-year-old could leave for a third of that amount.

The France international has been strongly linked with a move to Juventus in the past and would surely favour a move to the Italian giants if they also make a bid.

But according to Le10 Sport, the Gunners’ £17m offer could be enough to secure a deal as Mikel Arteta looks to revamp his squad ahead of the new season.

However, Spurs are likely to rival them for the playmaker’s signature as new boss Nuno Espirito Santo looks to make his first signing at Tottenham.

Smith Rowe ‘positive’ talks held

Emile Smith Rowe is reportedly nearing a new contract with Arsenal
Emile Smith Rowe is reportedly nearing a new contract with Arsenal

Emile Smith Rowe is edging closer to inking a new deal with Arsenal despite interest from Aston Villa.

The 20-year-old has been the subject of three bids, the latest thought to be £30m, from the ambitious Midlands outfit as Dean Smith looks to build on their encouraging season.

But Mikel Arteta is keen to keep the England Under-21 international at the Emirates Stadium and the club swiftly moved to open talks over a contract after learning of Villa’s interest.

Smith Rowe has two years left to run on his contract but the Gunners are confident of tying him down to a new long-term deal

Sky Sports report talks over a new contract for Emile Smith Rowe are moving “positively”, with all parties hopeful a deal can be agreed in the coming weeks.

It would mark a huge victory for the 39-year-old coach after losing Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos, with the pair returning to Real Madrid following their respective loan spells.

Neves on Edu’s radar

Wolves star Ruben Neves could be on his way to Arsenal
Wolves star Ruben Neves could be on his way to Arsenal

Arsenal are monitoring the situation of Ruben Neves ahead of potential summer transfer.

Arteta has already green-lit the club’s £18m move for Sambi Lokonga but with three central midfielders departing this summer, Arteta is looking for reinforcements.

The 24-year-old is a proven performer in the English top-flight, having starred at Molineux for the last three seasons.

But with Nuno Espirito Santo’s surprise departure as manager at Wolves, a number of his most trusted players have been touted for moves elsewhere

SunSport claim Neves’ agent Jorge Mendes is in constant communication with Arsenal’s technical director Edu, with both parties hoping to get a deal over the line as soon as possible.

The report adds that the £35m valuation could prove a stumbling block, but talks are ongoing about a potential switch.

Should they land Neves, it would mark the end of a six-year pursuit, which Arsene Wenger kicked off back in December 2015 after watching him emerge as a youngster at FC Porto.

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