I know that very few Arsenal fans think that Emile Smith-Rowe would refuse a new contract with the Gunners, having been brought up the Arsenal Way and playing alongside his friends like Bukayo Saka.
But the fact remains that talks are still ongoing with Arsenal over the terms of a new contract for the youngster, and the Telegraph is suggesting that Smith-Rowe is asking Arteta to give him assurances over how many games he will play, but the boss is unwilling to do that for any player.
So it appears that Villa believe Smith Rowe is still available, because if he was content at the Emirates then he would have already signed a new deal with the Gunners.
I doubt very much that Villa believed their opening bid of just 25million would have been accepted, but just the fact they are coming back surely means that they still think they could be successful at the right price.
The other factor that we need to consider is that Arteta is making big changes this summer, and will obviously need more funds than he will garner from selling off our fringe players and deadwood, so maybe he must be considering a couple of big money sales to help contribute to the transfer kitty.
So maybe it is up to Smith-Rowe now? Perhaps he needs to make up his mind and accept Arsenal’s new contract offer, or decide that he wants to seek a new challenge.
Just how long can Arteta wait for him to sign on the dotted line before deciding to act?