Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists it is ‘without question’ that Emile Smith Rowe will stay at the club next season.
The playmaker has been the subject of interest from Aston Villa, with the Midlands club submitting two bids for the England U21 international.
Both bids – first of £25m and second of £30m – have been rejected by Arsenal, who are in discussions with Smith Rowe over a new deal at the club.
However, Villa are refusing to give up on their pursuit and they’ve been given encouragement to do so given Smith Rowe is yet to extend his deal at the Emirates, with his current one set to expire in 2023.
But Arteta is adamant that the youngster will not be going anywhere this summer.
Asked if he’s determined to keep Smith Rowe, Arteta replied: ‘Without a question.
‘Yes. He will stay here. 100%.’
Arteta was speaking after Arsenal opened their pre-season with a 2-1 defeat to Hibernian.
Smith Rowe scored Arsenal’s goal in Edinburgh but the Spaniard insisted afterwards that the playmaker needs to score more if he wants to improve his game.
‘He knows that it is a part of the game he needs to get better at,’ said Arteta.
‘We are working on it a lot and you could see the positions that he took today. He created two or three big chances.’