Premier League • England

Arteta wavering on shock exit as German giant prepare superior bid to re-sign Arsenal attacker

Arsenal attackers Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe

RB Leipzig are weighing up an approach for an Arsenal attacker and manager Mikel Arteta is 'undecided' on whether to sanction a sale

Mikel Arteta is not ruling out offloading an Arsenal attacker before the February 1 deadline, and German giant RB Leipzig are ready to table a superior offer to the one already rejected this month, according to reports.

The Gunners have overseen a quiet window thus far, with the club’s scope for new recruits handcuffed by conforming to the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.

With arrivals not taking shape, Arsenal have seen no need to accept loan bids for their fringe stars. As such, the Gunners did not hesitate when rejecting West Ham’s recent loan approach for Emile Smith Rowe.

The 23-year-old may be down the pecking order at present, though could yet have a role to play in Arsenal’s quest for a first EPL title since 2004.

Speaking on Tuesday about the attacker’s future, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano suggested it’ll take something special for Arsenal to sanction an exit this month.

“Yes, this is a concrete possibility to see Emile Smith Rowe being approached by clubs in the next days and weeks because it already happened last week with West Ham,” Romano told Caught Offside’s YouTube channel.

“For example, West Ham tried to make a deal happen on loan for Smith Rowe, not even a buy-option clause included, and Arsenal are never going to accept that.

“For Arsenal, it makes no sense to let the player leave on loan. So my feeling is that, at the end, it’s going to be complicated for Smith Rowe to leave in the January transfer window because Arsenal would only be open to a permanent transfer.

“It’s also about the financial fair play. If you sell a player like Smith Rowe, you can have maybe space to bring in a new, important player for your squad. If you send him on loan, it makes no sense. Mikel Arteta is also happy with the player, so they’re not desperate to let him go, and he’s also very happy at Arsenal.

“If they receive an important proposal or permanent transfer, that could be a possibility; otherwise, I see Smith Rowe staying at Arsenal.”

But according to a fresh update from the Sun, Arsenal may soon receive a more favourable bid from RB Leipzig.

Leipzig want Smith Rowe a second time

The Sun stated the Bundesliga outfit are tracking Smith Rowe and ‘would love’ to sign the player on a loan deal that contains an option to buy.

Smith Rowe has actually played for Leipzig before during a brief loan stint in the 2018/19 season. A lingering groin injury resulted in Smith Rowe making just three appearances.

Nonetheless, that sub-par stint clearly hasn’t deterred Leipzig and fast forward to present day, they’re sizing up the player once again.

What’s more, unlike the West Ham bid that Arsenal quickly rebuffed, the Sun claimed Arteta is ‘undecided’ about Smith Rowe joining Leipzig on a loan deal that contains an option to buy.

The fact Arteta reportedly hasn’t dismissed this new notion out of hand suggests there is a chance Leipzig could succeed.

A source is quoted by the Sun as saying: “Leipzig would love to take Emile on loan.

“He’s a player they’ve identified who they believe could help improve them and boost their chances of taking them to the Champions League.

“But Mikel Arteta is undecided. Emile is not part of his first team plans, but he still thinks the boy could have a part to play in their title charge.

“As always a lot of this will come down to the player. If he tries to force a move then the club may have to make a decision because Arteta has always been clear – he only wants players who want to be at the club and fight for their place.”

Loan could help tee up bumper summer spend

Arsenal are understood to be plotting another bumper spend in the off-season. A full-back, central midfielder, winger and top class striker are all wanted.

Loaning Smith Rowe to Leipzig this month could put the pieces in place for his permanent sale when the loan concludes.

Even if Leipzig didn’t take up their option, an impressive spell in Germany could broaden the number of teams willing to take a chance on Smith Rowe in the summer.

If Leipzig do thunder in with a firm approach as the Sun suggest they might, all eyes will be on Arteta and Arsenal’s response.

DON’T MISS: Everton braced for late offers for Arsenal, Newcastle and Chelsea target; Dyche will stand firm and demand huge fee