Emile Smith Rowe is 100% to stay with Arsenal next season, according to manager Mikel Arteta, despite links to Aston Villa.

arsenal v crystal palace premier league
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 14: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal warms up prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on January 14, 2021. (Photo by Neil Hall – Pool/Getty Images)

Throughout the summer transfer window so far, there has been plenty of speculation around the future of young Arsenal midfield talent Emile Smith Rowe. But speaking on Tuesday, Mikel Arteta suggested there was no doubt the playmaker will stay.

“Without a question, yes,” Arteta responded. “He (Smith Rowe) will stay here. 100 percent.”

James Benge recently reported that Arsenal are growing in confidence over agreeing a new five-year contract for Smith Rowe soon. Benge adds that there are still details to finalise, but it’s evidently heading in the right direction.

Before that, there were claims that Aston Villa were preparing a third bid for Smith Rowe after their offers of £25m and £30m were turned down by the Gunners. Arteta wouldn’t comment on the bids received so far.

The Athletic report Villa’s transfer priority remains a number 10, and the Arsenal 20-year-old is their top target in that department. But it doesn’t look like Arteta has any interest in letting one of his key young players leave.