ARSENAL are reportedly close to finalising a new five-year deal with Emile Smith Rowe.
Fabrizio Romano claims an agreement is near with all parties ‘optimistic’ it can be completed soon.
Smith Rowe, 20, is also said to be ‘happy’ under Mikel Arteta and ready to commit the next stage of his career to the Gunners after a stellar season.
The versatile attacking midfielder has played 31 times in all competitions this term, scoring four goals.
Smith Rowe’s latest strike came in last night’s 1-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
And he now looks to be Arsenal’s first-choice playmaker following Mesut Ozil’s exile and subsequent departure.
Smith Rowe’s current contract expires in 2023 but Arsenal are keen to reward his efforts with a pay rise and extension.
The Gunners are ready to build their team around Smith Rowe and fellow midfielder Bukayo Saka.
Arsenal handed Saka a new four-year contract last summer.
And boss Arteta revealed earlier this month that Smith Rowe is also eager to remain in north London.
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Arteta revealed: “We are going to have that discussion [about a new deal].
“I think Emile has earned the right to look at that situation because of the performances that he has produced.
“He’s very much engaged and wants to continue with us, that’s for sure.”
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