Arsenal have tabled a second formal offer for Norwich City talisman Emiliano Buendia after the Canaries rebuffed an initial bid of £30million, according to reports. The Argentine winger established himself as arguably the Championship’s best player this season, leading the charge with 32 goal contributions in 39 appearances to help Norwich seal an immediate return to the Premier League.
He is currently on international duty after receiving his debut call-up to Lionel Scaloni’s 30-man squad for the upcoming Copa America in Brazil.
Buendia has reportedly been on Arsenal’s radar since before the turn of the year, with the Gunners looking to find a viable alternative to recently departed Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard ahead of the new campaign.
The Norwegian midfielder impressed Mikel Arteta during his short spell at the Emirates Stadium, but the likelihood of a permanent move appears to have been diminished by Carlo Ancelotti’s return to Madrid.
The former Everton boss is understood to be keen on giving Odegaard an opportunity to prove his worth, suggesting that any summer approaches from Arsenal are likely to be unsuccessful.
With the 22-year-old set to remain in the Spanish capital for the foreseeable future, Arsenal appear to have switched their focus to securing the services of Buendia, who is widely expected to complete a move away from Norwich in the coming months.
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The Gunners tracked the Canaries man for some time before acting on their interest earlier this month by submitting a bid in the region of £30m.
However, their offer is said to have been turned down by Norwich, who are believed to be holding out for a premium fee in order to part ways with their prized asset.
Arsenal have now launched a renewed approach for Buendia to the tune of £35m, but the newly-crowned Championship winners are hoping to tempt the north London club into meeting their £40m valuation, according to Sky Sports.
The report also claims that Aston Villa are in talks with Norwich over a move for the winger, while an unnamed European side are also believed to be keeping tabs on the situation.
Atletico Madrid and Valencia have previously been credited with a shared interest, but it remains to be seen whether either club are currently in the hunt for Buendia’s signature.
It seems likely that Norwich will eventually bow to the pressure and cash in on their star man, with sporting director Stuart Webber admitting last month that at least one of their best players could be sold ahead of next season.
Todd Cantwell and Max Aarons have also been linked with high-profile moves after impressing on their way to the Championship title.
“One of them may go, maybe two or all three of them will go, who knows,” Webber told BBC Sport. “But the facts are that this team isn’t about one or two players.
“For us to be successful in the Premier League, it’s going to be how does the squad of 20 do, not if one player performs brilliantly.
“When we sold James Maddison [to Leicester] everyone thought it was the end of the world and then a guy called Emi Buendia turned up.
“When Ben Godfrey left [for Everton] it was the end of the world and a guy called Ben Gibson turned up, and that’s football.”