Aston Villa close in on club-record deal for Arsenal target Emi Buendia and can ‘take them to the next level’, says Gabby Agbonlahor

Aston Villa have shown a real intent by clinching a club-record deal for Norwich ace Emi Buendia ahead of a ‘rival in Arsenal’, talkSPORT was told.

A deal worth in the region of £38million has been struck with the newly-promoted Canaries, with the Argentine forward already agreeing personal terms and completing his medical in his homeland.

Buendia is set to depart Carrow Road – but Arsenal will not be his destination

The 24-year-old, recently named Championship Player of the Season after inspiring Norwich to promotion, has been on the Gunners’ radar since January.

The Athletic report that the transfer, which will include several add-ons and a sell-on clause, will surpass the previous £25m record fee Norwich received for the sale of Ben Godfrey to Everton last summer.

And Villa favourite Gabby Agbonlahor couldn’t hide his delight while discussing the imminent transfer – which is expected to be officially announced on Sunday – on Saturday’s Kick Off.

“I think it’s a great signing. To have beaten Arsenal to it, makes it that bit better,” Agbonlahor told Faye Carruthers.

Buendia can take Villa to the next level, according to club legend Agbonlahor

“Villa are a big club and he wants to take them to the next level.

“He’s a great player and he can add a lot more to that attacking threat that Aston Villa have [already] got.

“They’ve got Trezeguet who is out for a long time with a long-term injury, so they needed someone to come straight in and show that form.

“[Ross] Barkley was disappointing for the second half of the season, so Aston Villa have probably thought to themselves this is a great chance to get him and not lose him to probably a rival club in Arsenal.”

Arsenal failed in their bid to keep Odegaard on a permanent basis
Getty Images – Getty

The Sun recently reported that the newly-promoted outfit accepted that Buendia would leave this summer and wanted £40m for the Argentine, who bagged 15 goals and 16 assists in the second tier in 2020/21.

Arsenal confirmed earlier this week that Martin Odegaard will return to Madrid following his successful loan spell at the Emirates, which left a gap in their squad for Buendia to fill.

Villa could also be faced with a similar vacancy if captain Jack Grealish leaves in this window amid links to Premier League champions Manchester City.