Arsenal transfer chief Edu has preferred Martin Odegaard replacement and wants to make bid
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Arsenal technical director Edu wants to sign Emiliano Buendia to replace Martin Odegaard and the north Londoners are now stepping up their pursuit of the Argentine, according to reports.
The Gunners have long tracked Buendia, who topped the Championship assists chart to help Norwich back up to the Premier League as champions of the second division.
Buendia ended the season with an excellent 15 goals and 17 assists for the Canaries as Daniel Farke’s side topped the table with 97 points.
The 24-year-old was the only player in the Championship to create more than 80 chances and ended up tallying 107 at an average of 2.74 chances per 90 minutes.
And per Goal, Edu is keen on Buendia with Arsenal having watched the playmaker on numerous occasions throughout his time at Carrow Road.
Mikel Arteta wants to sign another attacking midfielder in the summer transfer window with it currently unclear what will happen with Odegaard.
The on-loan Norwegian impressed in the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday night but may have a place at parent club Real Madrid next season.
Manager Zinedine Zidane could leave Los Blancos at the end of the season and if he does, that would open up an opportunity for Odegaard to earn a first-team spot.
Arteta would like to keep Odegaard for at least another year on loan or to sign the player permanently, but the chances of doing so may rest on Zidane’s future.
Goal say that Buendia has moved to the top of the list of No 10s for Arsenal in the meantime with Real Betis’ Nabil Fekir a potential alternative.
Norwich value their star man at around £40million and it is unclear if that price would put the Londoners off, although they could still qualify for European football, which would bring in extra finances.
Technical director Edu is chiefly behind Arsenal’s interest in Buendia and is stepping up their chase of the player, who according to the report is eager to move to the Emirates.
The Spaniard is presumably lining up a potential bid for Norwich in case Arsenal cannot keep Odegaard another 12 months.
Arsenal see Canaries creator-in-chief Buendia as an attacker who could make a real difference for them, and Norwich boss Farke has previously suggested a deal is feasible.
He said: “We have to be realistic, we are a self-funding club and will always have to develop our players.
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“Sometimes you also have to accept if a player has outgrown the club, then there is a solution – we had this in the past with James Maddison, when without the transfer fee it would have been difficult to keep the club going.
“Of course if one of the best clubs in the world wants Emi as a starter and makes an unbelievable offer then it could be a realistic solution for all parties.
“If there is a club who want to put some crazy offers out then maybe you use this to help the club in the future, but as a head coach my first thought is to work further on with our key players.”
But the German coach added: “They are all on long-term contracts, so if a club really wants to buy one of our key players, they have to invest an unbelievable amount of money, and it would be pretty difficult.”
Arsenal meanwhile complete their Premier League season at home to Brighton on Sunday (4pm) and go into the game ninth but only a point behind rivals Tottenham in seventh.
The Gunners cannot finish any higher than seventh, meaning they can only secure Europa Conference League football, and need Spurs and Everton to drop points against Leicester and Manchester City.
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