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Aston Villa winning the race to sign Norwich star Emi Buendia

Buendia is close to leaving Norwich after their promotion.

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Emi Buendia is close to leaving Norwich (Mike Egerton/PA)

Emi Buendia is close to leaving Norwich (Mike Egerton/PA)

Emi Buendia is close to leaving Norwich (Mike Egerton/PA)

Aston Villa are winning the race for Norwich star Emi Buendia.

The forward is close to a club-record move to Villa Park, in a massive blow to Arsenal, the PA news agency understands.

The Gunners and Villa made offers of around £30million this week and the Canaries are deciding what is best.

But PA has been told Villa have put together an impressive offer for Buendia and they are now favourites to sign him.

Any deal will surpass the record £28million which bought Ollie Watkins from Brentford last summer.

Arsenal do at least remain in the hunt and are long-time admirers, having made their interest clear during last summer’s restart following the enforced coronavirus break.

But Villa have extensively scouted the 24-year-old and watched several of his final games this season.

Buendia helped Norwich win their second Sky Bet Championship title in the last three seasons when they returned to the Premier League at the first attempt this year.

He scored 15 goals and made 16 assists to earn his first call-up to the Argentina squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia.

Buendia has been happy in Norfolk after joining from Getafe in 2018, recognising the chance the Canaries have given him, but has always had desire to play at a higher level.

“One always dreams of being at the highest level and in the best teams in England, Spain or Europe,” Buendia told AS last month.

“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.”

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