Aston Villa are on the brink of signing Emiliano Buendia, beating fellow Premier League side Arsenal to the Norwich City playmaker, sources close to the deal have confirmed to CBS Sports.
Buendia has undergone a medical in his native Argentina and needs only to complete the finalities of a deal that could eventually be worth over $50 million for Norwich, a record sale for them and a record signing for Villa.
Arsenal also made a bid for Buendia, a long-term target of theirs, but the Canaries found the offer from Aston Villa to be more convincing and the same was true of the player himself. Rather than wait for the Gunners to reach an agreement with the buying club the Argentine has opted to move to the Midlands.
Sources told CBS that Villa were more assertive and proactive in their pitch to Buendia and emphasized the importance he would hold in Dean Smith's project over the coming seasons. Though the deal is not yet finalized it would take a dramatic turn of events for the 24-year-old to not make the switch in the coming days.
The Championship Player of the Year for the 2020-21 season, Buendia's signing represents a significant coup for Villa and follows a recruitment model that has served them well with the likes of Ollie Watkins, Matty Cash and Ezri Konsa all having made impressive leaps from the second tier.
The size of the deal will also be a cause for satisfaction at Carrow Road. Norwich will bank a record fee for Buendia and a sizeable profit on the $2million they paid Getafe in 2018.
For their part, Arsenal do have other targets for the creative midfield position that is among their priorities this summer. Among them is Martin Odegaard, the Real Madrid playmaker who impressed on loan in north London last season. However no firm decision has been taken by his current club on whether he will be a part of the first team setup at the Santiago Bernabeu next season under new head coach Carlo Ancelotti.