Aston Villa are preparing a third offer for Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe, having already had £25m and £30m bids rejected by the Gunners.
Villa have already beaten Arsenal to the £33m signing of Emiliano Buendia and are determined to strengthen their squad following an impressive 11th place finish last season. They want to bring in another attacking player and are still keen on also keeping talisman Jack Grealish.
Smith Rowe, who turns 21 later this month, emerged as Arsenal’s breakout star last season in an otherwise poor campaign for the Gunners. He made 33 appearances in all competitions after making the permanent breakthrough in December and recorded 14 combined goals and assists.
Arsenal want to tie the home-grown starlet to a new contract beyond his existing deal that expires in 2023, but are having to rebuff serious interest from an ambitious Villa.
The Daily Mail reports that Villa have ‘not given up hope’ in their pursuit of Smith Rowe and a third offer is coming. It is not made clear how big that offer will be, but if it increases by another £5m, as was the case from the first bid to the second, it could hit £35m.
Villa have also been credited with £40m interest in out of favour Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are embarking on a crucial summer of recruitment to equip manager Mikel Arteta with a squad capable of rising up the table after a dismal eighth place finish last season.
With fringe player sales also a factor to add to funds, 90min revealed last month that the club hierarchy has sanctioned up to £250m of spending on the condition that players being targeting are younger than 25, have the potential to develop and improve, as well as increase in value over time.
The Gunners are primarily targeting a centre back, two central midfielders, a right back and a goalkeeper. England defender Ben White could join from Brighton for up £50m, while Aaron Ramsdale is a target between the sticks. Max Aarons is another player being looked at.