Arsenal have rejected a £25m bid from Aston Villa for Emile Smith Rowe and are keen to accelerate contract talks with the youngster as they look to secure his long-term future.
Dean Smith has wasted no time at all in looking to bolster his side this summer, with the signing of Emi Buendia - a player the Gunners themselves were keen to recruit - already confirmed.
Midfield creativity is clearly an area of his side that Smith believes needs addressing during the transfer market, with The Athletic now reporting that Arsenal have turned down Villa's £25m offer for Smith Rowe.
The England Under-21 international was one of the shining lights in an underwhelming campaign for the north London side last season, bagging his first Premier League goal and making 18 league starts for the Gunners despite having just a single league start to his name at the beginning of the campaign.
Mikel Arteta is clearly in no mood to entertain advances for the 20-year-old and is looking to continue talks over a new deal at the club.
Smith Rowe's current contract still has two years to run, though given his sharp rise to prominence Arsenal are well aware they need to table a new offer which reflects his importance to the side.
Talks over a fresh deal have been ongoing since April, though now the news of Villa's interest has come to light it's possible the discussions could pick up pace in the coming weeks.
While Villa's bid for the youngster has been rejected, the move is a statement of intent from a club who enjoyed a brilliant second season back in the Premier League having only narrowly avoided relegation the year prior.
Smith's side finished just six points behind Arsenal and had looked well set for a place in Europe at one point in the campaign before an injury to talisman Jack Grealish saw them experience a dip in form, though an 11th-place finish is still an impressive return given their relegation worries of 2019/20.