Arsenal

Aston Villa ‘interest is still there’ to sign Emile Smith Rowe

Aston Villa still retain an interest in Arsenal attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe at Villa Park.
Aston Villa still hold an interest in Arsenal attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, as talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook provides Tbfantasy with his verdict on a potential deal at Villa Park.
Unai Emery has enjoyed a fantastic first half of this term with his Villans side but hopes to be backed as he aims to secure at least Champions League qualification for the 2024/25 campaign.

Villa could strengthen their squad depth with their continental campaign in the Europa Conference League, due to get underway again in March, continuing into the second half of the season. Emery’s side have thrust themselves into the Premier League title conversation but will feel an improvement behind the first team is required to maintain their impressive form until the end of the campaign.
Aston Villa’s previous interest in Smith Rowe

Aston Villa’s interest in Smith Rowe stretches back almost three years, following their 11th-placed Premier League finish under Dean Smith during the 2020/21 season. According to The Athletic journalist David Ornstein, the Villans made a £25m offer for the attacking midfielder, which was turned down in July 2021. Later that month, Arsenal confirmed that Smith Rowe had signed a new long-term contract, which was initially due to expire during the summer of 2023.
However, the last few seasons haven’t developed like the former England U21 international would have hoped. Smith Rowe has found himself as a reserve for Premier League fixtures, barely getting a look-in in Arteta’s side, with Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka nailing down the wide attacking areas, whilst Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard and Kai Havertz occupy regular spaces in the midfield.

In October 2023, TEAMtalk claimed that West Ham United were keeping tabs on Smith Rowe, reportedly valued at £60m by Arsenal. The 23-year-old is under contract until the summer of 2026, meaning that the Gunners are under no pressure to sell the U21 European Championship winner yet.
But Smith Rowe may feel that his career is in danger of stalling, whilst Arsenal may recognise the need to cash in on the playmaker whilst his stock is high. Therefore, it is no surprise that CaughtOffside reports that the north London giants are open to selling Smith Rowe to Villa, who remain interested in his services. Transfer insider Dean Jones has recently told Tbfantasy(4th January) that Villa now have the ‘ideal moment’ to sign Smith Rowe during the 2024 winter window.
Alex Crook transfer claim on Smith Rowe and Aston Villa

Crook could see Arsenal possibly selling several players to enable them to make reinforcements of their own, which could involve allowing Smith Rowe to sign for Aston Villa. The talkSPORT reporter has also considered the Gunners’ interest in Villans midfielder Douglas Luiz. Crook told Tbfantasy.

“Arsenal might have to move a couple of players out to get players in. There’s interest in Mohamed Elneny from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and they’d cash in on Thomas Partey if they could, given his injury record and the fact he’s on good wages. I’m keen to see what they do with Smith Rowe because I think Aston Villa’s interest is still there. We know that Arsenal like Douglas Luiz, but Villa aren’t going to let him go at this moment in time because they’re competing for the top four themselves.”
Aston Villa transfer news, including Cyril Ngonge update

With Villa in with a genuine chance of competing for Champions League qualification as well as success in the FA Cup and Europa Conference League, Emery will hope to be backed in the coming weeks before the winter market’s 1st February closure.

According to Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), Aston Villa are competing with Fiorentina to sign Hellas Verona winger Cyril Ngonge. The 23-year-old is reportedly valued at €15m (close to £13m) by his current employers, whilst Fiorentina feel an offer worth €10m (£8.6m) would be fair. The Villans have reportedly sent a ‘real offer’ to Hellas, but it’s suggested the player favours a stay in Italy as he feels he’s got a better chance of ‘continuity’ if he remains in Serie A.
Meanwhile, The Mail on Sunday (via BirminghamLive) claim that Aston Villa are one of the sides interested in signing Peterborough United centre-back Ronnie Edwards. Crystal Palace and West Ham are also said to be on the scene for the defender, with the former said to have had three bids for his services rejected.

The Independent has previously claimed that Peterborough are standing firm on their £10m valuation of the 20-year-old. That high price is reportedly in place because Edwards’ former club, Barnet, have a 50% sell-on clause. However, there could be room for negotiation, with the England U20 international having just 18 months remaining on his contract at The Weston Homes Stadium.

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