• Arsenal determined to keep midfielder on new contract
  • Brighton close to signing Stuttgart striker Nicolás González

Arsenal have rejected a surprise bid from Aston Villa for the attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, who is yet to sign a new contract.

Smith Rowe’s emergence as a first-team mainstay was among the highlights of a generally disappointing 2020-21 season for Arsenal and he is in discussions about what would be a significant improvement upon his deal, which ends in 2023. Villa have sought to capitalise on any uncertainty around the 20-year-old’s position by offering a sizeable fee, understood to be about £25m, but Arsenal hold no interest in discussing a potential sale.

Related: Men’s transfer window summer 2021 – all deals from Europe’s top five leagues

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