Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe will not be moving to Aston Villa this summer, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
The Lowdown: Villa’s bids
Villa have tried their luck regarding Smith Rowe this summer and made the attacking midfielder a top target.
Smith Rowe, valued at £16.2m by Transfermarkt, scored for Arsenal in their 2-1 pre-season defeat to Hibernian on Wednesday, and Mikel Arteta was quizzed on the 20-year-old following the friendly in Edinburgh.
How many more signings do Villa need this summer?
The Latest: Romano’s post
Arteta admitted Smith Rowe will stay in north London beyond the summer. Romano added that the Gunners board are convinced he will sign a new contract in a Twitter post on Wednesday evening and a move to Villa won’t be happening.
“Mikel Arteta has just confirmed: “Emile Smith-Rowe will stay at Arsenal, 100% and no doubt”. AFC board convinced he’s gonna sign the new contract soon – no Aston Villa move for him.”
The Verdict: Time for McNeil?
Villa now have to move on to other targets, and one man who was named as a possible alternative to Smith Rowe earlier this month was Burnley’s Dwight McNeil, according to The Athletic’s Gregg Evans.
McNeil is an out and out left-winger, so should Villa now go for the Clarets man, that could mean Jack Grealish may have to move into the number 10 role for the new season.
Grealish occupied the left-wing spot on 19 occasions and an attacking midfield role eight times last season, so he’s more than capable of becoming Villa’s 10 in a possible front four of Buendia, Grealish, McNeil and Ollie Watkins.
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