Arsenal

How Arsenal lost out to Aston Villa in Emi Buendia race

Tom Gott
Emi Buendia is set to join Aston Villa
Emi Buendia is set to join Aston Villa / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images
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This summer is already looking like a frustrating one for Arsenal.

The Gunners look to have missed out to Leicester in their pursuit of Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard, but that's nothing compared to seeing Aston Villa celebrating a £33m move for Norwich City playmaker Emi Buendia, whom Arsenal had bid for just a few days earlier.

Head on to Twitter and you'll find countless rival fans poking fun at Arsenal for being less attractive than Villa, but the reality is that Buendia's preference didn't actually play any part in this transfer whatsoever.

As noted by Chris Wheatley, the Gunners matched the salary on offer to Buendia and did enough to get an agreement over personal terms, but it was the actual bid to Norwich which fell short.

Villa struck a deal with Norwich worth around £33m plus bonuses, and not only did Arsenal match that value, but they actually offered a little bit more money to try get the job done, but with a different payment structure.

Emi Buendia
Norwich did not like Arsenal's payment structure / Stephen Pond/Getty Images

The specifics of Arsenal's bid aren't clear, but it appears as though Villa were prepared to pay a bigger up-front sum to land Buendia, and Norwich were happy to accept a slightly smaller offer as it would give them more money to prepare for life back in the Premier League.

Buendia didn't reject Arsenal, so there's no embarrassment there, although not being able rival a bid by Villa isn't exactly a great look for a side who tried to claim a spot in the elitist Super League just a few months ago.

Arsenal decided they were better off pinching their pennies in a summer which could see them pursue a handful of different targets.

Mikel Arteta
Arsenal want a handful of signings this summer / Pool/Getty Images

On top of a creative ten, Arsenal want an industrious midfielder to come in and do the dirty work, with Wolves' Ruben Neves joining Brighton's Yves Bissouma on the target list.

Some extra firepower in attack is also on Mikel Arteta's radar, as is finding a new centre back to replace the departed David Luiz, and the club are also pushing ahead with a cut-price deal for Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.


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