Emiliano Buendia looks set to join Aston Villa instead of Arsenal, according to various sources – although one report claims all hope isn’t lost for the latter.
Buendia has been linked with a move to either Villa or Arsenal after helping Norwich City back into the Premier League. He was one of their brighter sparks during their last stint in the top flight and continued to impress upon their return to the second tier. He will be a Premier League player again next season, but not necessarily with Norwich.
The Canaries will have their resolve tested for the attacking midfielder, who is admired by Arsenal and Villa.
Arsenal need to find a way to replace the creativity they have lost after Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos returned to Real Madrid following their loan spells.
Villa, on the other hand, have suffered without Jack Grealish at times, so need to reduce the burden on him.
And it is the latter who look more likely to complete a deal. According to Goal, Villa have made a “very good” offer for Buendia’s services.
At present, they seem more likely to come closer to Norwich’s demands than Arsenal do. The newly promoted club want to receive around £40m for the playmaker.
Villa have now submitted a big offer, which may not quite reach that value but won’t be too far away.
The report from Goal follows claims from TyC Sports reporter Cesar Luis Merlo, in Buendia’s native Argentina, that the player is “one step away” from joining Villa.
Merlo claims Arsenal never made an official bid, whereas Villa have taken their opportunity and could agree a deal in the region of €35m.
Arsenal still have hope
Despite those claims, other sources have insisted that Arsenal have in fact been in contact.
Football.London admit that Villa are in the lead, but claim Arsenal remain “locked in talks”. The website suggests they have seen an offer of around £30m rejected, even though Norwich could accept a fee not too far away.
Furthermore, according to PA, Arsenal have also made a similar offer to Villa. Norwich are now mulling over which is the better option to accept.
The Gunners “remain in the hunt”, the report claims, but Villa are “close” to completing the deal. It would be a club-record fee that would surpass what they spent on Ollie Watkins last summer.
It seems Buendia’s future should become clearer within the next 48 hours or so. At present, it looks like Villa might have the edge.