Aston Villa have formed a new transfer plan as Arsenal have started contract talks with Emile Smith Rowe.
The Villans are looking to strengthen their squad to build on an 11th-placed finish in the 2020/21 campaign, their best in 10 years.
They have already beaten the Gunners to one transfer target this summer, with the arrival of Emi Buendia from Norwich earlier this month.
And the Express & Star have reported that the North London side have made a decision – but will face more pressure from the Premier League side.
Smith Rowe enjoyed a breakout season with Arsenal, making 33 appearances and even adding four goals to his tally.
Despite the Englishman being on a £20,000-a-week deal that expires in 2023, speculation was rife about whether the midfielder would be at the club next season.
But Mikel Arteta sees the 20-year-old as a big part of his future plans, with the report stating they he is not willing to accept any offer.
Villa started with a £25m bid for Smith Rowe in the middle of June, which has since been rejected.
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It is now expected that they will return with a second offer for the youngster, who has been working his way up the ranks since 2010.
But Arsenal have now started talks with the midfielder to boost his wages as well as offer bonuses to his contract that will keep him in North London.
Villa’s push for Smith Rowe comes amid news that champions Manchester City are ‘close’ to completing a £100m deal for captain Jack Grealish.
While the Villans have ‘given the green light’ for the move, they will not be willing to leave his shoes unfilled in their midfield.
Grealish is understood to be desperate to play Champions League football, and after impressing during his sole Euro 2020 appearance, he has proven he can play on the biggest stage.
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