Aston Villa are set to beat Premier League rivals Arsenal to the signing of Argentine attacking midfielder Emiliano Buendia for a club-record fee.
Buendia, 24, registered 15 goals and 16 assists as Norwich City returned to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Only Ivan Toney (43) and Adam Armstrong (33) had more goal contributions than his 31.
It was reported that he was one of Arsenal’s top targets for the summer window but on Saturday it emerged that Villa had stolen a march on the transfer.
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Arsenal reportedly had a bid turned down in the week and Villa then came in with an offer that was accepted by Norwich.
John Percy reports that the initial fee will be £30 million plus various add-ons and a sell-on clause for Norwich.
The move will be a record purchase for Villa and a record sale for Norwich.
Buendia is currently with the Argentine national team for their World Cup qualifiers.
OUR VIEW – ANOTHER MISSED STEP FOR ARSENAL
This has got to go down as a real lapse from Arsenal. Yes they have less money to play with after missing out on European football but if they have really quibbled over a few million, then it is a bad error.
Buendia is one of the best creators in England, full stop. He is a brilliant technician and could have had a Santi Cazorla-esque impact on Arsenal, that’s how good he is. He is the sort of player who can take charge of a midfield and dictate a team’s play.
As for Villa this is a wonderful signing, he will help form a fearsome quartet alongside Ollie Watkins, Bertrand Traore and of course, Jack Grealish.
Villa fans will be hoping that the Buendia signing is to complement Grealish, rather than as a replacement.
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