The most unlikely transfer rumour in most Arsenal fans eyes this summer is the possibility of Aston Villa being successful in their bid for Emile Smith-Rowe, who has had an amazing breakthrough season for Arsenal.
But the media, especially in Birmingham, seem to believe that Villa are still intent on getting the 20 year-old to make the move to the Midlands, and Sky Sports reported on Monday that Arsenal had rejected a second bid for Smith-Rowe.
Gooners cannot fail to still be a bit nervous while his new Arsenal contract remains unsigned by him or his representatives, and according to the ex-Villa striker Kevin Phillips, there must be reasons why the Villains have not been discouraged by Arsenal’s rejections.
Phillips was asked by Football Insider if he thought that Arsenal themselves are leaving the door open for further bids, and he replied: “They could be.
“You don’t go in with a third bid unless you are convinced to do it.
“The club will be speaking to the agent and the agent will be speaking to the player.
“We don’t know what’s happening. So much stuff happens with agents at times like this.
“Villa play great football. If they get him they are getting an exciting young player.
“From Arsenal’s point of view, they are letting a young player go and there will be a backlash from the fans.
“Villa are obviously being hugely encouraged by someone. He’s a very good player.”
So could it really be that Arteta is thinking of sacrificing Smith-Rowe to get the funds to buy his own targets?
Or perhaps Smith-Rowe’s agents are telling him that Villa will give him a much higher wage rise than Arsenal will?
Or could the player himself think that Villa are looking much more ambitious than Arsenal at the moment?
Answers on a postcard please….