EMI BUENDIA is on the verge of a move to Aston Villa from Norwich in a £38million deal.
Villa have outbid Arsenal for the Argentine winger and have agreed to pay an initial £33million with £5m in add-ons.
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Norwich, who initially demanded £40m, turned down £30m-plus offers from both Arsenal and Villa.
Arsenal failed to make a second attempt so now Villa are set to wrap up the signature of their number one summer target.
Buendia, 24, the Championship player of the year, has been a bargain since signing from Spanish side Getafa for £1.5million three years ago.
He scored 15 times in the Canaries’ title-winning season under Daniel Farke. And Buendia, who initially wanted to leave last summer, had a gentleman’s agreement with the club that he would be allowed to leave if a major offer came in.
Norwich have a similar arrangement with Max Aarons but despite a £20m January offer from Roma, there has currently been no interest in the right-back.
The Canaries will now reinvest all the cash in new players as they bid to avoid a repeat of the 2019-20 season when they finished bottom of the Premier League.
But the news of Villa leading the race for Buendia comes amid the expectation Arsenal loanee Odegaard is set to return to Real Madrid.
According to The Times, the Norwegian is thought to be excited to play under Carlo Ancelotti, who left Everton to take over from Zinedine Zidane.
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Odegaard has been a valuable asset to Mikel Arteta in the second half of the season, which saw the Gunners’ form improve dramatically.
He scored one goal and provided two assists in 14 Premier League appearances and was one of the shining lights in what was a dismal season for the North London outfit.
But he was only on a short-term loan deal with the Gunners and now looks set to return to Madrid to fight for his place in the Spanish giants’ side.
Speaking to TV 2 Sporten about Ancelotti, Odegaard said: “It is a coach I know and with whom I had a good relationship when he was last there. In that sense, it is positive.
“But beyond that, one day has passed, so I do not know too much about what he thinks about things.”
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