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According to The Mirror (04/07, p76), Aston Villa now think Arsenal will sell Emile Smith Rowe to them – and will increase their bid to £32.5million.

Villa are attempting to show real ambition this summer and have already beaten Arsenal to the signing of Norwich City playmaker Emiliano Buendia.

They have now set their sights on signing Smith Rowe too, in another move that would frustrate Arsenal and their supporters.

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Aston Villa believe Arsenal could sell Smith Rowe

The fact that Villa offered £25million and then came back with a new bid of £30million suggested that they have been given some encouragement that a deal could happen.

It’s now stated that Villa will increase their bid again, this time raising it to £32.5million – and it’s now expected that Arsenal will listen to this bid.

The report claims that Arsenal have tried to give Smith Rowe a new deal, but those attempts have failed so far and the Gunners are starting to ‘reluctantly’ consider letting him go.

Villa are confident they can strike a deal, striking another blow to Arsenal having already beaten them to Buendia and signed Emiliano Martinez from them last summer.

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This would be a disaster for Arsenal

Smith Rowe has only played 22 games, bagging two goals and four assists. On the face of it, selling him for £32.5million may not seem like all that bad of a move.

Make no mistake though, this would be terrible.

Smith Rowe has emerged through the club ranks and is now thriving in the first team, which is exactly what the club needs to do moving forward.

Building around talented homegrown players like Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka has to be a priority for Arsenal, with Pep Guardiola branding Smith Rowe ‘incredible’ – exactly the type of talent Arsenal need.

Selling him would be bad enough, but selling him to Villa – a team who finished below Arsenal last season – would look absolutely awful, and wouldn’t exactly leave fans thinking they’re looking at a top four club again.

Villa increasing their bid by £2.5million should not be enough for Arsenal to sell Smith Rowe, and they must hold firm rather than sell this summer.

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