Arsenal receive Emile Smith Rowe sale clarity after £22.5m Chelsea deal set to extend wait

Omari Hutchinson's Chelsea exit may have ramifications for Arsenal and Emile Smith Rowe
-Credit: (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea have agreed on a deal that could reach as high as £22.5million for Omari Hutchinson to join Ipswich Town on a permanent move. The former Arsenal youth graduate who moved to his former club Chelsea in the summer of 2022 spent the last season on loan with the newly promoted side.

The Gunners were unable to agree to a new contract with Hutchinson who decided to pursue more senior minutes with his old club, who also offered him an attractive contract proposal at the time. While he too was unable to break into the Chelsea senior side, the loan move to Ipswich last season was a game-changer.

Now moving to East Anglia permanently, this is set to benefit Arsenal in the form of a sell-on clause which was agreed as compensation for the deal that saw him move to their London rivals two years ago. However, this could have caused something of a blow to the Gunners earning even more money.

The club are looking to make a considerable amount on the sales market this summer and Ipswich had emerged as one of the candidates for a couple of their notable potential departures. Both Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah were said to be of interest to the Tractor Boys.

A move for Hutchinson seems to almost certainly rule out a deal for Smith Rowe, considering the similarities of positions which they play. Smith Rowe is currently working hard ahead of the official pre-season start date with several other Arsenal players and Mikel Arteta in Marbella.

This could be a signal that he still sees his future very much in North London. However, both Nketiah and Reiss Nelson – the latter of whom the club are also understood to be open to selling and the player himself, according to the Athletic, has voiced his desire to assess his options this summer – could also leave.

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It is important that preparations continue as normal despite the potential for players to depart. Arsenal have had players take part in tours of other countries during the summer, even play some friendlies before they have left anyway, it is not uncommon.

But what appears more certain is the unlikelihood that Ipswich will now be a destination for Smith Rowe. There is understood to be interest from other clubs such as Fulham and Crystal Palace – both London sides meaning Smith Rowe would not need to uproot his life to make the switches.

Arsenal are understood to have an interest in Palace attacking midfielder and England international Eberechi Eze. Should Smith Rowe leave, a move for Eze would make plenty of sense to bring in as a replacement.