Date: 1st July 2021 at 7:55pm
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One of the more unexpected transfer links this summer suggested that Aston Villa had a strong interest in Arsenal starlet Emile Smith Rowe.

The speculation has rumbled on for most of June, and if reports are correct, we opened the bidding up at £25million, before raising it to £30million, but Arsenal are holding firm, given their ongoing attempts to tie the 20-year-old down to a new extended contract.

With former Villan Stan Collymore recently fanning the flames and pointing out that in his experience of transfer deals going through, there’s no way a club bids once, let alone twice, unless they already have an indication that a player is at least open to having a chat, fellow former Villan Alan Hutton has stated his belief that it will only be a matter of time before we reach agreement with the Gunners and he’s confident we’ll return with a third bid, at around the £35million mark.

“I think it’s brilliant to see from Villa. They’re just not slowing down. They’ve got their foot to the floor and going ahead with the targets they really want to bring in. It doesn’t matter what’s going on and what noise is happening. They want that player and they’re really going for it. Dean Smith and Johan Lange are getting backed by the owners. If you go in with an offer, it is knocked back and that is the highest level you’re willing to pay, that’s it. Normally that is the deal done.”

Hutton went on to say that given our business so far this summer, he felt that fans would be ‘buzzing’ with our interest in ESR given the lads clear development potential and he thought fans would love we aren’t taking no for an answer.

“They’ve went in with £25million, come back a week later with £30million. It would not surprise me if they come in with another £5million on top. He’s somebody that would excite the fans. It wouldn’t surprise me if another bid goes in and they do actually get it this time. I do believe that they will go in with another offer.”

Given this rumour just isn’t going away, Express and Star journalist Matt Maher also seems very upbeat about not only our approach to the market this summer, but also our chances of picking up ESR in the near future.

Writing recently, he explained.

“Villa are refusing to give up their pursuit as they continue with an ambitious summer transfer strategy, aimed at bolstering Dean Smith’s attacking options. Securing the signing of Smith Rowe would, however, deliver the biggest statement yet. The England youth international was among Arsenal’s brightest performers last season and has been in talks over a new contract at the Emirates Stadium. Yet while an agreement is still to be reached, Villa will believe they still have a chance of prising him away. The pursuit of Smith Rowe is not an attempt to bring in a replacement for Jack Grealish, though the Villa skipper’s future is under scrutiny amid serious interest from Manchester City. Ideally, Villa want Grealish, Smith Rowe and Buendia to be playing in the same team next season.”

Again the proof will be in the pudding and even if ESR is open to having a chat, it in no way guarantees that a deal will be done anyway but it’s so nice to see us ‘challenging’ for players of this calibre and potential once again rather than looking at good pros, but on final paydays.

It speaks volumes for how far we have come in such a short space of time and long may that continue – even if we don’t see the lad in our shirt.

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