Arsenal are back in for Emiliano Buendia.
That’s according to a report by Goal, as they claim the Gunners have stepped up their interest in the Norwich City attacking midfielder as an alternative to Martin Odegaard who looks set to return to Real Madrid after his loan spell expires.
And in a boost for Arsenal transfer chief Edu regarding a deal for Buendia, the Canaries have already hinted at being forced into selling some of their key players to fund transfers for new arrivals ahead of the summer window.
“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,” Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber recently told BBC Look East.
“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.
“When we sold James Maddison [to Leicester] everyone thought it was the end of the world and then a guy called Emi Buendia turned up – when Ben Godfrey left [for Everton] it was the end of the world and a guy called Ben Gibson turned up, and that’s football.”
Buendia is valued at around £40million by Norwich and there are reports that the Gunners are preparing to make an ‘opening bid’ for the playmaker.
CBS Sports claim that whilst a formal bid has not yet been lodged, that is expected to change in the coming days.
Furthermore, the report states that Buendia would be extremely interested in moving to the Emirates Stadium and would be prepared to push for a deal to go through.
The playmaker – who weighed in with 15 goals and 17 assists in the Championship this season – has also been linked with a move to Aston Villa.
But if Arsenal are successful with their attempts to sign Buendia, they will be getting a player whom Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi appears to be a fan of.
As revealed by the midfielder when playing against Barcelona in his Getafe days six years ago, he clearly did something to catch the eye of Messi who encouraged him to switch allegiances from Argentina to Spain.
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“I maybe did something good to impress him,” Buendia told the Guardian. “He asked: ‘What do you want to do? Do you want to play for Spain or Argentina?’ Quickly I said: ‘Of course I want to play for Argentina. I want to play with you – it is a dream’.”
Buendia still hasn’t fulfiled that dream, but has moved one step closer after being included in the squad for next month’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia.