By Kevin Phillips

2nd Jul, 2021 | 10:32am

Phillips: Aston Villa given 'huge encouragement' over Smith-Rowe deal after Sky update

Kevin Phillips insists Aston Villa are receiving encouragement over a potential deal for Emile Smith-Rowe.

The former Villa striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, reacted to the most recent twist in the club’s pursuit of the attacker.

Sky Sports reported on Monday (June 28th) Arsenal had turned down a £30million bid from the Villans for the 20-year-old.

As revealed by Football Insider on 21st June, Villa had already had a £25million offer rebuffed.

Arsenal are trying to agree new terms with the 20-year-old as his contract is due to expire in the summer of 2023.

Phillips claims Villa must be getting encouragement from somewhere over their continued pursuit of the Arsenal youngster.

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When asked if Arsenal could be providing this encouragement, Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, “They could be.

“You don’t go in with a third bid unless you are convinced to do it.

“The club will be speaking to the agent and the agent will be speaking to the player.

“We don’t know what’s happening. So much stuff happens with agents at times like this.

“Villa play great football. If they get him they are getting an exciting young player.

“From Arsenal’s point of view, they are letting a young player go and there will be a backlash from the fans.

“Villa are obviously being hugely encouraged by someone. He’s a very good player.”

Smith-Rowe made 37 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions last season.

The attacker shone during what was an otherwise disappointing 2020-21 season.

In other news, Football Insider sources have shared a major update on Aston Villa bid to sign Ward-Prowse from Southampton.