Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has been handed a major blow as fresh news emerges on their transfer battle with Arsenal over Norwich’s Emi Buendia.
The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece had initially revealed via Twitter: “I’ve just been told Villa & Arsenal both lodged bids yesterday. Emi Buendia currently with Emi Martinez ahead of Argentina’s #WCQ with Chile at 1am UK time. Contact has informed me that Buendia knows of #AVFC and Arsenal interest.”
However, according to Turkish journalist Ekrem Konur, Villa have suffered a major setback in their pursuit of the Argentine.
Via his official Twitter account, he revealed: “#Arsenal and #AstonVilla have made formal bids for Emiliano #Buendia. The player’s priority is Arsenal.”
The battle between Villa and Arsenal to see who signs Buendia this summer promised to be a real measuring point of just how far Smith’s side have come in such a short space of time.
You only have to think back to this time last year when the Midlands club were fighting to stave off relegation back to the Championship, and Arsenal were heading for FA Cup glory, that the two wouldn’t be in competition with another.
Alas, such has been Villa’s sharp rise that there may have real confidence from Villa fans that Buendia would turn down the Gunners and choose them, especially given the exciting project on which they’re currently embarking under Smith.
Instead, Konur’s claim that Buendia’s “priority” is Arsenal is a hammer blow, not just because of the kind of player they would be missing out on, but also that they seem to have lost the chance to make a massive statement to the rest of the Premier League and beyond.
Villa fans must be absolutely gutted with the latest update on Buendia.