Transfer fee races past £50m, as Villa tipped to pay ‘stupid’ price for target

Aston Villa will end up having to pay a “stupid” amount if they really want to secure Emile Smith Rowe’s transfer from Arsenal, says one pundit.

Villa have already begun the task of transforming their midfield this summer. They may already have agreed a club-record deal for Emiliano Buendia, but boss Dean Smith reportedly wants to go further. In fact, his side are supposedly looking to make a ‘massive’ move for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse.

To complete a star trio, also want to sign star Arsenal youngster Smith Rowe. After having an initial £25million bid turned down, they have faced similar Gunners rejection with another bid.

Despite his tender age, the 20-year-old proved influential in turning Arsenal’s dire season around.

As such, Gabriel Agbonlahor believes that Villa will have to pay up to £60million for the midfielder. Such funds could be available, though, should Jack Grealish leave in a mega-money move to Manchester City.

“I think the problem is Villa were clever and they got Emi Buendia in early before this Grealish talk came along,” Agbonlahor said.

“But now clubs are not silly, they’re smart to it. Even Arsenal, Smith Rowe is one of their brightest young players.

“The money Villa are offering, they’re never going to get him. Arsenal know they might get £100million for Grealish and will ask for something stupid for Smith Rowe.

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“They probably want £50million, £60million, and that would be accepted if Villa offered it.

“They’re going to put money on top because they know Villa are going to get a bigger fee for Grealish.”

Pundit admits Villa transfer blow

Emile Smith Rowe Arsenal tracksuit

Agbonlahor added: “I don’t think that will go any further, I don’t think Smith Rowe is worth the money that Arsenal want.

“It’s just a shame now for Villa because whatever they deal want to get done, they’re going to have to pay over the top.”

As for Arsenal’s transfer plans, boss Mikel Arteta reportedly wants to support Smith Rowe with key signings.

Albert Sambi Lokonga is the current favourite to enter the midfield, while the Gunners are reportedly in advanced talks over a deal for Brighton centre-back Ben White.

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