Aston Villa are closing in on the shock £30m signing of Norwich City star Emi Buendia, having leapt ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign the in-demand Argentine.
The 24-year-old has long been courted after starring in the Championship for the Canaries, and it looked a near formality that he would complete a move to Arsenal despite strong interest from Villa and other Premier League teams.
But, as widely reported, Buendia is currently on course to head to the Midlands, having undergone a medical in his homeland and agreed personal terms with Villa.
90min has learned that Arsenal had made a bid of £30m, but Norwich wanted £35m with an additional £5m in add-ons - a deal that Villa have agreed to while the Gunners have not.
Sources close to the player have indicated that moving to the Emirates Stadium would have been a ‘dream’, but this is simply a case of moving to where you are most wanted. Villa have superbly presented their case to Buendia, indicating how he'll fit in at Villa Park while emphasising how important a signing he would be for the club.
That same level of care and attention hasn't been forthcoming from Arsenal when it comes to the financials aspect of any deal, and Buendia has no issue in completing a move to Villa Park.
He notched 15 goals and 17 assists last season, as Norwich finished the season top of the table with a whopping 97 points. Buendia's relentlessly exciting displays have even earned him a call-up to the
Argentina national team for their recent World Cup qualifiers, a fine reward for his consistent performances.
Buendia's imminent arrival will be viewed as a major coup for Dean Smith's side, who will also be hoping to fend off any summer interest in Jack Grealish. He's sure to be an immediate starter, too,
particularly as the club opted not to sign Ross Barkley on a permanent basis after a disappointing loan spell.