Norwich City transfer rumours: Aston Villa interested in Buendia

Emi Buendia responded in positive fashion to be left out of Norwich City's starting line up at Everton Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Emi Buendia responded in positive fashion to be left out of Norwich City's starting line up at Everton Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith would like to sign Emi Buendia from Norwich City, according to a Sky Sports News report.

Buendia is mentioned as a player the Villa boss is keen on in a report focused on the Villans' interest in Brentford's creative midfielder Said Benrahma.

The 24-year-old Algeria international was a star player for the Bees in the Championship last season, scoring 10 goals and assisting 14 in 38 appearances as his side finished in mid-table.

That led to Smith bidding for Benrahma in the summer but failing to secure a deal, with Sky suggesting Brentford want £20million for the Nice youth product.

Those 14 assists meant he was the only player in the division to manage more than Buendia's 12, yet so far this season he has managed just two goals and two assists from 14 matches, with the Bees eighth and a couple of points adrift of the play-off places.

The report acknowledges that City's talented Argentine would be even more expensive than Benrahma, with the 22-year-old so far registering four assists in the Premier League this season.

VERDICT: Buendia may have started this weekend's 2-0 win at Everton on the bench but it still seems highly unlikely the Canaries would even consider selling their creative midfielder in January - particularly to a survival rival.

Prior to game week 13 of the Premier League season, just three players had completed more key passes than the former Argentina Under-20 international and only Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne had more assists.

Villa have billionaire owners and demonstrated their financial muscle when spending around £130m this summer following their promotion via the play-offs.

However, City supporters still have extremely high hopes for Buendia's top-flight capabilities, with some sloppy defensive work during recent games leading to a place among the substitutes as Farke's team look to get a foothold in the division, as their defensive injury crisis draws to a close.

The former Real Madrid trainee still came on and helped set up Dennis Srbeny's goal at Everton, if somewhat fortuitously, and it's expected he will have a major role to play this season.

Were City to be relegated and Villa avoid the drop at the end of the season, that would clearly be a different situation, but with Saturday's win breathing fresh belief into the campaign there seems almost no chance of Villa being able to sign Buendia in January.

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