The latest transfer news focuses on Emiliano Buendia to Aston Villa as the Norwich and Argentina playmaker is in high demand and appears to be heading for Villa Park.
[ MORE: Full highlights, analysis of PL season ]
Buendia, 24, was the Championship Player of the Season in 2020-21, as he immediately led Norwich to the top with 15 goals and 16 assists.
That has also led to many Premier League clubs rushing to sign him, although the Canaries are reportedly relaxed about his situation and holding out for the transfer fee they want.
Will Buendia really make a splash in the Premier League this time around after struggling to shine in 2019-20 (one goal, seven assists) when Norwich were relegated?
Arsenal and Aston Villa seem to think so…
Latest transfer news
Aston Villa signs for Buendia
It’s intriguing to see how close Villa Buendia is to signing, especially when they have Jack Grealish around.
Or is that the kicker here?
The Villa captain has been linked with a move to Manchester City in the past 12 months and could a move for Buendia indicate Grealish could leave?
It’s too early for that, but it looks like Buendia would have a big impact at Villa and there would be less pressure on him to perform than at Arsenal.
A report from Target says Villa is leading the way for Buendia and has made a ‘very good offer’ as subsequent reports show Norwich has accepted an initial offer of $42 million as the add-on deal could reach $56 million.
That would be a club record transfer fee for Villa.
Dean Smith and Villa have done well in Championship recruiting, as the signings of Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins proved last season, but this is a lot of money for Buendia.
Is there room for him next to Grealish in midfield? And John McGinn? They are to replace Ross Barkley after his loan spell ends, but Villa is in danger of losing balance in midfield. Buendia likes to play on the front foot and is not afraid to make mistakes, which is the type of player Dean Smith has always liked.
The fact that Villa and Arsenal are now battling for the same players in the transfer market says more about Villa’s ambition than Arsenal getting back on track.
Arsenal were excited about Buendia
Mikel Arteta is unlikely to get Martin Odegaard back from Real Madrid after his loan spell at Arsenal in the second half of last season, so he’s shifting his focus to a playmaker.
The Gunners went out of their way to sign Buendia in January, but Norwich kept him at the forefront of their promotion campaign. That was a good decision.
According to a report by The timesArsenal are now going all in for Buendia as their main addition this summer, but it looks like they won’t win.
Is this an area Arsenal need to strengthen, with Emile Smith Rowe in a central attacking role last season, plus Joe Willock back from his successful loan spell and the likes of Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Willian in the attacking midfielders?
Signing Buendia seems like a luxury purchase, as Arteta definitely needs to bolster his defense first.
Even if they don’t sign Buendia, it looks like Arsenal are planning to sign a lot of fringe players this summer and players like Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin and Eddie Nketiah to free up some cash.
Transfer news: Aston Villa beats Arsenal and signs Buendia originally appeared on NBCSports.com