Buendia 'dreams of playing at highest level' amid Atletico Madrid interest

Emiliano Buendia of Norwich has a drink after the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich

Emi Buendia is going to be a man in demand this summer. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Emi Buendia has admitted he dreams of “being at the highest level” after being asked if he would consider a move to Atletico Madrid. 

Reports emerged earlier this week that “a continental club” is interested in the 24-year-old alongside Arsenal and Aston Villa.  

Atletico Madrid, who secured the La Liga title last weekend, have been linked with Buendia in the past and in an interview with Spanish publication AS he said he would one day love to be competing for titles. 

“One always dreams of being at the highest level and in the best teams in England, Spain or Europe,” he said. “One dreams of playing for titles, it is an ambition that I have, it is a pride that important clubs are interested in you, it means that you are doing things well and it is a motivation to continue working and one day achieve it." 

Buendia is set to join up with the Argentina squad this weekend for the first time for World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia and gave the interview whilst on a short break in Madrid. 

Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber revealed recently that the club would consider selling one of their prized assets if the right offer came in this summer to help lessen the financial impact the coronavirus has had. 

However, City are relaxed about Buendia’s future and acknowledge that if a big club comes in for the player with an offer in excess of £40m then they would have to consider selling. 

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Buendia was outstanding for the Canaries in their title success, scoring 15 goals with 16 assists and he reflected on the season as a whole after the disappointment of relegation at the end of the last campaign. 

“After a year that was complicated, it left a bad taste in your mouth after relegation,” he added. “Reversing that situation, knowing how complicated the Championship is, is not easy and the club gave me a great opportunity, as did my team-mates. It is very enjoyable and it was a great year. 

“It was my third year and I had felt important in the previous two because of the good numbers and the number of games I played, just like in the Premier League. This year, starting with the same group, I did feel the importance of the team-mates, the coaching staff and the club, that motivates you and makes you feel good, it gives you confidence. When the player is confident, he performs better.” 

Buendia shone for City from a starting position on the right but it was his movement across the frontline that made him such a difficult proposition in the Championship along with his outstanding quality on the ball. 

Buendia admitted he loves to be in playmaker role, at the heart of the action. 

“My position was always '10', hook, between the middle and the forward,” he added. “I was always a passer, but in a professional way. I played more outside and always with the freedom to be able to associate. But where I feel most comfortable is in the middle, where I can touch the ball more and associate with my teammates.” 

When asked who he likes to learn from in the Premier League, Buendia looked towards the two Manchester clubs.

"Since you were a child, you were passionate about soccer and you grow up with players you watch," he said. "Not only in the position that I would like to play, as I still do today. I look a lot in England on Kevin De Bruyne or Bruno Fernandes, who are decisive in their teams and among the best in the world. There is no maximum age to continue learning from the best."

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