Arsenal have knocked back an approach from Monaco for attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.
The Ligue 1 club have been the first of Smith Rowe’s suitors to firm up their interest but have been rebuffed in their attempts to discuss a permanent deal for the 20-year-old.
Monaco’s sporting director Paul Mitchell is a big fan of Smith Rowe.
The former Southampton and Tottenham talent spotter Paul Mitchell was RB Leipzig’s head of recruitment and behind the Bundesliga club’s move for Smith Rowe when he had a spell on loan at the German club in 2019.
The England Under-17 World Cup winner also has admirers closer to home after a successful loan spell at Huddersfield in the second half of last season.
Croydon-born Smith Rowe’s hometown club Crystal Palace expressed interest in a permanent move while Fulham and Leeds are keen on a loan.
Smith Rowe shone in Huddersfield’s 3-2 defeat at Craven Cottage in February, scoring his side’s first goal and almost inspiring a fightback from 3-0 down.
Arsenal’s highly thought of academy product will be fondly remembered at Elland Road too as his winning goal against West Brom last month helped seal Leeds’ promotion back to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.
Smith Rowe has made 12 appearances for Arsenal and scored three times since making his debut in September 2018.
Manager Mikel Arteta was in contact with Smith Rowe during his loan at Huddersfield and spoke positively about his form and development last month.
‘I’m pleased by what I’ve seen from him,’ Arteta said. ‘He needed that exposure and he looks more mature now. I think he will be in a much better place when he comes back in pre-season.’
Arteta added that he was ‘excited to work with’ Smith Rowe, who is valued at £10m-£15m.
Though Arsenal’s intention to offload some players to help balance the books and fund their own transfer business may offer Smith Rowe’s suitors hopes.
Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey and Lyon’s Houssem Aouar are among their targets having already brought in Willian on a free, confirmed the permanent signings of Cedric and Pablo Mari and with £27m defender Gabriel Magalhaes also on the verge of joining after completing a medical on Monday.