Aston Villa confirm club-record signing of Emi Buendia from Norwich as fee surpasses £28m they paid for Ollie Watkins

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Emi Buendia for a club-record fee from Norwich.

The 24-year-old midfielder scored 15 goals and registered 16 assists to help the Canaries make an immediate return to the Premier League last season.

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

It is understood Villa have paid around £38million for Buendia, who was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal.

The fee surpasses the £28million they paid to sign Ollie Watkins from Brentford last summer.

Villa boss Dean Smith said: “Emiliano has just completed an outstanding season in a championship-winning Norwich side with 31 combined goals and assists and was named player of the season across the league.

“He is equally capable as a wide attacker or as a number 10 and is a great addition to our attacking options.

“We are delighted to have made such an exciting signing so early in the summer and look forward to Emi joining up with us for a full pre-season.”

Buendia, recently named Championship Player of the Season after inspiring Norwich to promotion, has been on Arsenal’s radar since January.

Villa favourite Gabby Agbonlahor couldn’t hide his delight while discussing the transfer, as it emerged over the weekend they had fought off interest from Arsenal to sign the talented playmaker.

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

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

“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.”