Aston Villa have been handed a hugely exciting update about Emi Buendia’s move to the club, amid claims that Arsenal were also interested in signing him.
Reports in recent days and weeks had suggested that Dean Smith’s side were in a straight shoot-out for the Argentine, and in the end, it was Villa who clinched a big-money deal for the play-maker.
And now, writing for The Athletic, Norwich correspondent, Michael Bailey, said: “Make no mistake, Villa was the move the forward wanted. That had been made clear to Norwich and rival suitors Arsenal during a bidding process that began on the last day of May.
“Villa chief executive Christian Purslow and Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber have known each other since working together at Liverpool a decade ago, and that certainly helped the deal move swiftly.
“While Villa’s first bid was big enough to show they were serious, it was rejected by Norwich. Worried about getting into a bidding war with Arsenal, whose interest had been well documented, they put forward an improved bid by the middle of last week.
“That was also turned down by Norwich and followed by Arsenal’s opening offer, which matched their second one and was also met with a no from Carrow Road. Rather than top what Arsenal had put on the table, all Villa really needed to do was match Norwich’s valuation.”
Given that it was a battle between Villa and Arsenal, the fact that Buendia chose Smith’s side over the Gunners from the start of proceedings is a real momentum booster with the transfer window only just getting officially started.
Mikel Arteta’s side have been falling off in recent seasons and ended the last Premier League campaign outside of the European places for the first time in more than two decades.
And while Villa may have finished below the north Londoners, there’s no questioning that it’s the Midlands club who seem to be on the way up.
Had Jack Grealish not been injured for the closing weeks of the season, then a Europa League place may well have been their just rewards for what was a truly outstanding campaign, especially after only just surviving Premier League relegation the year prior.
So, news that in a transfer tussle between them and one of the Premier League’s traditional ‘big six’, a main transfer target chose to move to Villa over Arsenal, will have fans absolutely buzzing and dreaming of some more high-profile signings as the transfer window remains open.