Transfer news: Who could be on the move this summer?
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Arsenal remain confident over the possibility of signing Norwich City winger Emiliano Buendia in spite of Aston Villa’s decision to match their £30million bid, according to reports. The Gunners are in desperate need of additional creativity ahead of next season following the recent departure of Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard.
The Norwegian midfielder turned plenty of heads during his half-season spell at the Emirates Stadium, with Mikel Arteta a huge admirer of his formidable leadership qualities and impressive ability to pull the strings in attack.
Arsenal have since been heavily linked with a permanent approach for the 22-year-old, but Carlo Ancelotti’s return to Real appears to have poured cold water on the possibility of a move.
The former Everton boss is reportedly willing to give Odegaard the opportunity to fight for a first-team spot at the Bernabeu, suggesting that any attempts by the north London club to secure his services could be in vain.
Buendia has been tracked by Arsenal as a potential alternative for a number of months, with reports of their interest surfacing before the turn of the year.
The 24-year-old established himself as arguably the Championship’s best player by chipping in with 32 goals and assists to help Norwich seal an immediate return to the Premier League this season.
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However, his time at Carrow Road appears to be nearing an end with the Gunners stepping up their interest in recent weeks.
An initial offer of £30million is said to have been tabled, but the figure has since been matched by Villa, who are determined to recruit a new playmaker of their own.
Despite this, Arsenal still fancy their chances of landing the Canaries man in time for next season, according to football.london.
The report claims that Buendia’s decision could be made imminently, with the situation progressing quickly on all fronts.
It is said that he will face a ‘difficult choice’ if Villa decide to offer a strong financial package, but Arsenal director Edu is believed to be quietly confident.
Buendia is currently away on international duty with Argentina after receiving his first call-up to join the likes of Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria for the upcoming Copa America in Brazil.
He was not named in the matchday squad to face Chile in a World Cup qualifier early on Friday morning, which suggests that he has been given time to settle his future ahead of the new season.
Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber recently suggested that a move for Buendia is not beyond the realms of possibility this summer, admitting that the club’s best players will be available for the right prices.
“If we do sell one, it’s going to be a club record deal,” Webber told BBC Sport last month.
“It’s probably going to start with a number three in front of it and that will give us great opportunities to maybe make the whole [squad] better as well. We’re really relaxed on that front.”
Buendia has played 121 matches for Norwich since joining the club from Getafe in a deal worth less than £2m in 2018.
He was one of the club’s few shining lights as they were relegated from the Premier League two seasons ago, and stayed to achieve Championship promotion a year later despite intense speculation linking him with a move away last summer.
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