Arsenal ‘make £30m’ offer for Norwich star Emi Buendia as transfer battle begins

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Arsenal have made an official bid for Norwich City attacking midfielder Emi Buendia, according to reports. The Gunners have repeatedly been linked with Buendia, but face competition from Aston Villa who have reportedly matched their offer, which is worth over £30million.

Buendia won the Championship Player of the Season award for 2020/21 after contributing 15 goals and 16 assists in 39 league appearances for the Canaries as they won promotion back to the Premier League.

The 24-year-old midfielder was a clear stand-out player for Daniel Farke’s side and now looks set for a summer transfer.

Norwich have been aware of interest in the Argentina international for some time and, while they don’t want to sell, they are realistic about their chances of holding onto their most prized asset.

He is under contract until June 2024 and Norwich want a fee of more than £40m to lure him away from Carrow Road.

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According to The Sun, Arsenal and Villa have formally begun the tug-of-war over Buendia’s signature by both submitting ‘packages worth £30m-plus’.

The report says Buendia is ‘now certain’ to leave Norwich this summer, but the club ‘are playing hard ball’ over the transfer fee by hoping a bidding war might take place.

One of the reasons behind that stance is that Norwich will owe 20 per cent of the transfer fee to Getafe, who sold them the diminutive playmaker for £1.29m (€1.5m) three years ago.

Buendia told AS recently that he dreams of playing “at the highest level and in the best teams in England, Spain or Europe”, while director of football Stuart Webber has been clear on Norwich’s stance.

“If we do sell one, it’s going to be a club record deal,” Webber said recently. “It’s probably going to start with a number three in front of it.

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“That will give us great opportunities to maybe make the whole better as well. We’re really relaxed on that front.”

That was echoed by Farke himself, who said back in April that Norwich had to be “realistic” because they are a “self-funding club”.

He said: “Of course if one of the best clubs in the world wants Emi as a starter and makes an unbelievable offer then it could be a realistic solution for all parties.

“If there is a club who wants to put some crazy offers out then maybe you use this to help the club in the future, but as a head coach my first thought is to work further on with our key players.”

Arsenal were linked with Buendia in January before they signed Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid.

The Gunners are understood to be pursuing another deal for Odegaard but the Norwegian could arrive as an addition to Buendia.

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