Arsenal made their first formal offer for Norwich midfielder Emi Buendia on Thursday, football.london understands.
The bid, believed to be in the region of £30million inclusive of add-ons, was also matched by fellow Premier League side Aston Villa who want to prize Buendia away from Carrow Road.
Buendia, who is currently away on international duty with Argentina, scored 15 goals and provided 15 assists in the second tier last season and was named Championship Player of the Season.
football.london had previously reported Arsenal’s interest in Buendia last December, but the Gunners were priced out of a move for the Argentine, and switched their focus to Martin Odegaard who joined on loan from Real Madrid in January.
A source told football.london that it will be a ‘difficult choice’ for Buendia if both Arsenal and Villa offer similar financial packages, but the Gunners remain confident of landing their man later this month.
Buendia’s former club Getafe are set to receive 20 per cent of any fee Norwich receive for the midfielder due to a sell-on clause within his contract.
“One always dreams of being at the highest level and in the best teams in England, Spain or Europe,” Buendia told AS.
“One dreams of playing for titles, it is an ambition that I have, it is a pride that important clubs are interested in you, it means that you are doing things well and it is a motivation to continue working and one day achieve it.”
Norwich have a set an asking price of £40million for Buendia, with the likes of Todd Cantwell and Max Aarons all attracting interest from teams in the top flight.
The Canaries director of football Stuart Webber has insisted that they will only be sold if the price is right.
Do you want all the latest news from around Arsenal Football Club straight to your email inbox?
Of course you do.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a twice-daily email, focused on all the latest news from the Emirates Stadium.
And, not only that, but you will get exclusive content from our club writers Chris Wheatley and Kaya Kaynak before anyone else.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
Alternatively, you can click here and tick the Arsenal box to subscribe for our Gunners newsletter.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
“If anyone wants any of those guys they are going to have to break our club transfer record (£25million) to even get me to answer the phone, to be honest. All three are aware of that,” said Webber.
“One of them may go, maybe two or all three of them will go, who knows – but the facts are that this team isn’t about one or two players. For us to be successful in the Premier League it’s going to be how does the squad of 20 do, not if one player performs brilliantly.”
Buendia was a stand-out player for the Canaries in their disappointing Premier League campaign a season ago, creating 3.1 chances per 90 minutes and notching seven assists as they were relegated from the top flight.