Arsenal reject £25m Smith Rowe bid from Aston Villa

Smith Rowe was one of the breakout stars of last season and his development, along with that of fellow Hale End academy graduate Bukayo Saka, was one of the high points of a disappointing campaign.

After being drafted into the team for the Boxing Day win over Chelsea, the 20-year-old’s presence helped Arsenal’s domestic form improve after the turn of the year and he forced his way into Aidy Boothroyd’s England U21 squad for the European Championships.

The Gunners have no intention of selling him this summer and are instead working on a new contract, with his current deal having two years left to run.

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Villa have already made their intent clear in this summer’s transfer market by beating Arsenal to the signature of Norwich star Emiliano Buendia.

Mikel Arteta was keen on the Argentine, who starred in the Canaries’ promotion-winning campaign.

Arteta is keen to reinforce his attacking midfield options, with Norway’s Martin Odegaard having returned to Real Madrid after spending the second half of last season on loan at the Emirates.

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