Former Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton has applauded the club’s efforts to sign Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe and hopes the latest bid may be the one to tip the balance in their favour.
The Villans has long been linked with a move for the 20-year-old playmaker. They have already made two bids and a third is on the way as Dean Smith refuses to give up on his target. Recent reports claim the west Midlanders have tabled bids of £25m and £30m.
Both were given short shrift by the Gunners hierarchy but that has not deterred the Villa Park outfit. Football Insider reported on Tuesday that they will make a third offer ‘close to’ Villa’s club-record fee of £33m paid for Emiliano Buendia.
The figure Norwich received for the Argentine could rise to £38m with add-ons. Whether they would be prepared to go that high is open to debate but the pursuit continues.
It remains to be seen if the clubs can do business. But Hutton is delighted to see his former club make an early move for a high-profile target.
“It doesn’t surprise me. They’ve identified the man that they want and they’re going hard for it,” he told Football Insider. “They’re not wasting any time. It looks like they want to organise and shape their squad as early as possible to start the season on a good run.”
And the ex-Scotland defender feels the saga is now reaching the stage where something has got to give.
“Villa are obviously pushing real hard. We’ll have to wait and what they’re willing to go to but surely there’s a breaking point,” he added. “If the money is right, he will go. It’s going to be really interesting. It’s really good as a fan and former player to sit up here and see it.”
Villa face race with Arsenal for Smith Rowe signature
Arsenal want to keep the England Under-20 ace at the Emirates and have offered him a new contract. Respected transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano recently suggested the two parties had a ‘verbal agreement’ over a new deal.
He stated that the only thing holding up the extension was the fact the Londoner was away on holiday. Smith Rowe is now back but there has been no word of a renewal in north London.
That should give Villa hope that they can secure a player who looks to have big future. And Hutton is enthused by the direction in which Smith is taking the club.
“They’re really pushing to build a squad that is going to be there for the future,” he continued. “Young, hungry players.”