Emile Smith Rowe and Arsenal already have a verbal agreement over a new contract, they just need to sort the details when he returns from holiday, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Arsenal have turned down a couple of recent bids from Aston Villa to sign Emile Smith Rowe, rejecting a £25m offer followed by a £30m follow-up, insisting it would take more than three times Villa’s initial £25m to consider a sale.
Yet there’s a little bit of urgency in the situation for the Gunners, who know that Smith Rowe only has two years left on his current contract. They want him to extend, but so far he hasn’t signed a new deal.
Speaking on the Que Golazo podcast, Fabrizio Romano says that although the playmaker hasn’t put pen to paper just yet, he has a verbal agreement with Arsenal.
Romano claims Smith Rowe wants to stay, and he’s waiting to come back from his holidays and meet with Arsenal to iron out the details.
“He’s not signed yet,” Romano said. “But before Emile was going to holiday this summer, he had like a verbal agreement ready with Arsenal, this is what I know.
“So he’s waiting to come back from holiday and then to meet with Arsenal, complete some details and then sign the new contract with Arsenal.
“From Smith Rowe’s side, he wants to stay at Arsenal, many times he said about he’s living his dream playing for Arsenal, he wants to stay and Arsenal are so happy with him.
“So if someone wants to break the agreement, verbal agreement between Smith Rowe and Arsenal, they need to break the bank.
“My feeling is that Smith Rowe is staying, and they’re gonna extend this contract because as I said, some weeks ago, it was already prepared.”
That certainly sounds like good news, though it’s not quite in keeping with reports from some of the English media sources.
James Benge reports that Arsenal are confident Smith Rowe will eventually sign, but no agreement is imminent. The Gunners know the terms the 20-year-old wants, but they haven’t offered him those terms just yet.
Perhaps Romano’s expectation is that Arsenal are planning to make a satisfactory offer when Smith Rowe returns, or that the player might be more willing to compromise, but nothing is quite done yet.