Chelsea have made an enquiry for Arsenal attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, according to The Times.
The English newspaper says the Gunners are willing to offload the 23-year-old, having already offered the player to at least one other Premier League team so far this summer. However, it isn’t known whether the London club will sanction the player’s sale to a direct rival.
Smith Rowe has struggled for game time since returning from a groin injury at the start of the year. He did not get a single league start last season and that trend has continued into the new campaign.
The England international got a very brief cameo in the Community Shield but he has been an unused substitute in Arsenal’s first three league fixtures.
With Smith Rowe seemingly keen on getting more game time, and the Gunners needing money to sign one more player before the transfer window closes, it appears a sale could be on the cards.
Why are Chelsea targeting Smith Rowe?
The Blues have lost two attacking midfielders to knee injuries over the past month, with Christopher Nkunku not expected to return to fitness until later this year, while Carney Chukwuemeka is out for up to six weeks.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has also expressed an interest in signing a forward and, with Emile Smith Rowe capable of playing in a front three, he looks like an ideal candidate for them.
Who would Arsenal sign as a replacement?
Barcelona’s Ansu Fati has been on the Gunners’ radar for quite some time, and there is a suspicion that his club could be open to offloading the Spanish international before Friday’s deadline.
You also can’t rule out the possibility that Mikel Arteta’s side may look to reinvest the money from Smith Rowe’s sale in another area of the pitch. Following the long-term injury sustained by Jurrien Timber, a defender could be targeted instead.