Aston Villa confirm signing of €36m Buendia
Arsenal had been considered favourites to sign the Argentine attacking midfielder after tabling a big-money offer earlier this week.
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Why did Buendia reject Arsenal?
But they have been beaten in the race by Aston Villa, who have confirmed the transfer subject to a successful medical.
"Aston Villa and Norwich City have reached an agreement for the transfer of Emiliano Buendia," a statement read on Villa's official website on Monday.
"As Emiliano is currently in the Argentina national team’s biosecure bubble, preparing for a World Cup qualifying match with Colombia on Tuesday evening, he will undergo a medical and complete the transfer after the game."
The offer from Villa is a club record transfer fee believed to be €36 millions, and which could rise to €40m with add-ons.
Villa are understood, according to Arsenal journalist Chris Wheatley, to have done a better job in showing Buendia exactly where he fitted in the club’s tactical and technical plans.
The presence at Villa Park of fellow Argentine Emiliano Martinez, who is a close friend of Buendia, also played a role in Buendia accepting Villa’s offer.
This news comes as a blow for Arsenal as they prepare to rebuild a squad that endured a disastrous 2020/21 season, finishing in eighth position and failing to even qualify for European competition.
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As for Aston Villa, they will be delighted with the capture of Buendia, who played a key role in Norwich’s promotion to the Premier League.
The 24-year-old was their key performer as they won the 2020/21 Championship, as highlighted by his Player of the Season award.
In 39 appearances, he scored 15 goals and recorded 15 assists.
He joined Norwich from Getafe in 2018 and has since scored 24 goals in 121 appearances during three seasons at the club.
He also received his maiden call-up for the Argentina national team squad last month.