City confirm club-record Buendia deal agreed with Villa
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City have confirmed an agreement with Aston Villa for the club-record sale of Argentine star Emi Buendia, with the deal set to be concluded later this week.
It's understood the Canaries’ reigning Player of the Season will join the Villans for an initial £33million, with another £5m to potentially follow in performance-related fees and a 10 per cent sell-on fee which could one day take the total package above £40m.
News of a deal being agreed broke on Saturday and City have published a statement this morning to keep supporters informed, with the Premier League transfer window officially opening on Wednesday.
A club statement has been released, saying: "Norwich City can confirm that a club-record deal has been agreed with Aston Villa for the transfer of Emi Buendia.
"Buendia will complete his final medical checks following the conclusion of Argentina’s World Cup qualifying fixture against Colombia on Tuesday evening.
"Final confirmation of the transfer will follow upon completion of the player’s medical."
Villa have released a similar statement, saying: "Aston Villa and Norwich City have reached an agreement for the transfer of Emiliano Buendia.
"As Emiliano is currently in the Argentina national team’s biosecure bubble, preparing for a World Cup qualifying match with Colombia on Tuesday evening, he will undergo a medical and complete the transfer after the game."
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The 24-year-old has three years remaining on his contract and had contributed seven assists and some top creative statistics during City’s top-flight relegation season of 2019-20, but no bids arrived last summer.
After an uncertain start to the season, the former Real Madrid trainee got his head down and hit new levels, scoring 15 goals and assisting 16 during 39 Championship appearances.
He was named the division’s Player of the Season at the EFL Awards and was called up to the Argentina senior squad for the first time after an inspirational role in a second title triumph in the second tier under Daniel Farke.
The creative maestro was signed from Spanish side Getafe in 2018 for an initial £1.5m, which reportedly rose to around £5m after add-on fees and the Canaries buying out the sell-on clause of 20pc, with Getafe being a club that has battled financial difficulties.
The former Argentina Under-20 international had been impressing in the second tier while on loan at Cultural Leonesa and City’s scouts were convinced by the skilful attacking midfielder’s potential.
Three years later and Buendia has contributed 41 assists and 24 goals in 121 matches in all competitions.
He is hoping to make his senior international debut during a World Cup qualifier in Colombia on Tuesday (12am Wednesday, UK time).
Initial medical checks were reportedly carried out in Argentina over the weekend, after Villa had out-bid Arsenal.
The Birmingham side were promoted from the Championship alongside champions Norwich in 2019, after winning the play-offs, but scraped to survival as City endured a disappointing relegation campaign.
With wealthy ownership, the Villans are targeting a return to their glory days of the early 1980s, when they won the club's seventh English top-flight title and were crowned champions of Europe.
Former Brentford boss Dean Smith, a boyhood Villa fan, has his side playing attacking football and while they finished 11th in the Premier League last season they were a lot closer (12 points) to fourth place than the bottom three (27 points).
Their star player Jack Grealish has regularly been linked with mega-money moves to Champions League clubs, with links to Manchester City persisting, but it remains to be seen if Buendia will be the playmaker's replacement or an addition to their forward ranks as they look to build on last season.
We spoke to Buendia following the EFL Awards at the end of April, which has proved to be his last as a Canaries player, but the Argentinian had been in the thick of the promotion celebrations in the weeks before - as can be seen in the video below.