Arsenal see Emile Smith Rowe as part of their future and want to extend his contract, with the Athletic now reporting contract talks have begun.

LONDON, ENGLAND: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their first goal during the FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on January 09, 2021. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Back in Match, Fabrizio Romano told the Here We Go Podcast that Arsenal were happy with Emile Smith Rowe and intended to extend his contract in the coming months. Though they hadn’t made an official proposal at that point, it seemed to be just a matter of time.

“About Smith Rowe…they are working to extend his contract,” Fabrizio Romano said. “It’s not (at the stage of) negotiations or official proposal, but they are planning to keep Smith Rowe and to extend his contract in the coming months.

“For sure, they see Smith Rowe as part of the project for the future of Arsenal. They are so, so happy with him so they are planning to work on his contract.”

Romano wasn’t the first to suggest Arsenal are planning to extend Smith Rowe’s deal this summer. The Daily Mail previously reported that the club would offer Smith Rowe a wage increase from around £15k-a-week to £40k.

The same outlet claimed there is confidence that the 20-year-old will commit his long-term future to the club. His current contract expires in 2023, so this summer is the perfect time to hand him a new one.

Now, David Ornstein and the Athletic are reporting that “Arsenal have now opened negotiations over a fresh deal” with Emile Smith Rowe.

Smith Rowe has made 31 first-team appearances this season despite only receiving his first league start under Mikel Arteta on Boxing Day.

The midfielder has scored five goals and assisted seven, but he’s impressed even when not contributing to the goals. It’s no surprise Arsenal want to keep him around.

He is expected to change his shirt number when he signs his new deal.