Arsenal told to pay ‘club record’ fee for Emi Buendia but it’s not bad news for Gunners

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Arsenal have been told they will need to pay a record fee to sign Norwich City star Emiliano Buendia this summer. Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber has given an update on the future of the club’s star players.

Arsenal were linked with Buendia in January as Mikel Arteta searched for a No 10.

Arteta instead brought in Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid for the remainder of the season.

Odegaard would be the preferred option for the Arsenal boss, with Buendia on a list of alternatives.

However, Zinedine Zidane’s departure at the Bernabeu makes the Norwegian less likely to be available.

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Buendia had a fine season for Norwich as Daniel Farke’s side won the Championship to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

The 24-year-old scored 15 goals and registered 16 assists in 39 league appearances.

The highest fee Norwich have ever received for a player was last summer when Ben Godfrey moved to Everton for £25million.

Webber says any fee for the club’s top players would break that record.

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However, he also hinted any fee would be less than £40m.

“If we do sell one, it’s going to be a club record deal,” Webber said.

“It’s probably going to start with a number three in front of it.

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

It remains to be seen what Arsenal’s budget will be for new signings this summer.

The lack of European football will have an effect on how much they will have to spend.

But departures of senior players, with Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin among those linked with exits, could raise some much-needed cash.

That could make a move for Buendia more realistic, especially with Webber saying Norwich would accept less than £40m for the player.

Buendia still has three years remaining on his Norwich contract and is also attracting interest from Aston Villa.

Speaking in April, Norwich boss Farke admitted there may come a time where the club’s top players will be sold.

Farke said: “We have to be realistic, we are a self-funding club and will always have to develop our players.

“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.”

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