Arteta clarifies Smith Rowe, Willock futures as Villa, Newcastle learn fate

Emile Smith Rowe, Arsenal midfielder in action against Hibs

Mikel Arteta is adamant Emile Smith Rowe is staying at Arsenal this summer after appearing to confirm the club have rejected an approach from Aston Villa for the playmaker.

The Villans has long been linked with a move for the 20-year-old playmaker. They have already made two bids with a third reportedly on the way as Dean Smith refuses to give up on his target. Indeed, that third offer is said to be ‘close to’ Villa’s club-record fee of £33m paid for Emiliano Buendia.

However, it seems Smith and Villa now face disappointment with the player seeing his future at Arsenal.

The midfielder has been back in first-team training this week and talks over a new deal have resumed. As per the Birmingham Mail, those talks have progressed well and there are now just a few small details to iron out.

Furthermore, Smith Rowe appears very much part of Gunners boss Arteta’s plans.

The 20-year-old was on the scoresheet as Arsenal opened up their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 defeat at Hibs.

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And when asked if he expects Smith Rowe to still be an Arsenal player come the end of the window, Arteta offered a firm response.

“Without a question. Yes. He will stay here. 100%.”

Arteta was then asked about Villa’s approach for the player. Many believe a third bid of £30m could tempt Arsenal to sell. However, when questioned, Arteta simply replied: “No comment.”

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Joe Willock also set for Arsenal chance

Newcastle, meanwhile, are reported to have held talks with Arsenal over a second loan deal for Joe Willock.

Arteta, however, also appears adamant that he too will be handed his chance with the Gunners in 21/22.

“Well he wasn’t involved today because he had a little groin issue,” Arteta said after defeat at Easter Road.

“He trained yesterday really well, but we didn’t want to risk him. Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him.

“He had a good experience on loan. He was, I think, one of the most important players for Newcastle’s survival and we are happy to have him.”

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