Transfer gossip: Arsenal still intent on move for England striker as PSG plan last-ditch Mbappe offer

Arsenal haven’t been put off Ollie Watkins despite the England striker’s new deal at Aston Villa, while PSG hope to find a compromise with Kylian Mbappe…

Ollie Watkins might have signed a new contract with Aston Villa, but that doesn’t seem to have put Arsenal off their pursuit of the England striker.

It was announced earlier this month that Watkins has penned new terms with the Villans until 2028 during an exciting time for Unai Emery’s squad. Fichajes, though, reckons Arsenal will still move in January for England’s most recent match-winner.

Apparently, Mikel Arteta wants attacking reinforcements in the new year ‘with only Gabriel Jesus as a reliable striker’. Which seems a little harsh on Eddie Nketiah, who made his England debut when replacing Watkins during the 1-0 win over Australia at Wembley.

But Arsenal are said to be willing to tempt Villa into selling the centre-forward with seven goals to his name already this season. Ivan Toney is also a target and the Brentford hit-man would be similarly as expensive despite the final year of his contract looming next summer.

Arsenal could raise some of the funds by selling Emile Smith Rowe to Newcastle.

The England international has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates and injuries meant the recent start at Brentford in the Carabao Cup was his first for the Gunners in 499 days.

Now fit, Smith Rowe’s prospects look bleak with his boyhood club. But the Mirror says Newcastle are keen to offer the 23-year-old a fresh start at St James’ Park.

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The Magpies, not unreasonably, would prefer a loan deal initially but Arsenal are likely to want a guarantee of some form that they would receive a hefty fee for their academy graduate. Aston Villa have also been credited with a long-standing interest in Smith Rowe.

Only two and a half months to go until Kylian Mbappe can speak openly to Real Madrid about moving to the Bernabeu as a free-agent. Out of contract next summer, the France megastar can sign a pre-contract agreement with Real anytime in the new year. But PSG aren’t going down without a fight.

Sport says the Parisians will make a last attempt this week to convince Mbappe to kick his can down the road for another year by signing a renewal until 2025.

PSG are desperate to avoid losing their biggest asset for nothing so they are said to be willing to agree an exit clause for next summer below his market value so that they can pull in a few Euros, while Mbappe still gets the Real move his craved.

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