The Gunners are on the lookout for a new playmaker this summer and technical director Edu is keen on Norwich City’s Argentine star

In their search for a replacement for Martin Odegaard, Arsenal is stepping up their pursuit of Emiliano Buendia this summer.

The Gunners are long-term admirers of the Norwich playmaker and have watched him on countless occasions during his three-year spell at Carrow Road.

A second creative player is sought by Mikel Arteta ahead of the 2021-22 season.

HOW’S IT GOING?

As talks within the club ramp up ahead of the summer transfer window, Arsenal has moved Buendia to the top of its list of playmaker targets.

Norwegian international Odegaard is currently at Real Madrid on loan for the remainder of this season and Arteta hopes to keep him for at least another year.

But Odegaard’s future remains unclear, with Madrid expected to give him an opportunity next season should current boss Zinedine Zidane move on at the end of the campaign.

Arsenal is also considering other options, including Real Betis’ Nabil Fekir. However, Goal has reported that Arsenal’s technical director Edu has stepped up the club’s interest in Buendia, who is eager to join the club in north London.

WHAT MAKES BUENDIA SPECIAL?

Adding creativity to Arsenal’s squad is a top priority this summer after the team struggled to break down teams this season.

And they view Buendia, who has just been named the Championship’s player of the season, as someone who could come in and make a real difference during the 2021-22 campaign.

In addition to scoring six goals, the 24-year-old played a major role in Norwich’s Championship victory by 6 points.

In 39 appearances he scored 15 goals and contributed 17 assists, more than any other player in the division.

He also created more big chances than anyone in the Championship, completed more through balls, and completed more passes in the final third.

WHAT WOULD HE COST?

Arsenal has yet to table an offer for Buendia and Norwich is believed to want around £40 million for the attacking midfielder, who has three years remaining on his contract and has just been called up by Argentina.

Asked earlier in the month about the possibility of selling Buendia, Norwich manager Daniel Farke said:

“OF COURSE, IF THE BEST CLUB IN THE WORLD WANTS HIM AS A STARTER, THEN IT COULD WORK FOR BOTH 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.”

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