Arsenal are stepping up their interest in Norwich playmaker Emiliano Buendia


Arsenal have intensified their pursuit of Emiliano Buendia as they look to replace Martin Odegaard, who is set to return to Real Madrid this summer.

The Gunners have been long-term admirers of Buendia and were credited with an interest last summer but never made the move.

However, after tracking the winger's progress at Carrow Road and witnessing his impressive form this season, Mikel Arteta is eager to add him to his ranks.

According to Goal, Arsenal's technical director Edu has started to step up the club’s interest in Buendia and labelled him as their primary target for this summer's transfer window.

However, the Gunners are yet to make an official offer for the Norwich City playmaker.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed an exceptional season and played a major role in Norwich winning the Championship and earning promotion back into the Premier League.

Buendia scored 14 goals this season and registered 17 assists - more than any other player in the division.

He also created more big chances and completed more through balls and passes in the final third than any other player in the Championship this season.

As a result, Buendia claimed the honour of the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Season and caught to attention of Arteta once again.

However, to acquire Buendia's services, Arsenal will be required fork out around £40 million for the attacking midfielder - who has three years remaining on his contract at Norwich.

Speaking previously about the prospect of selling Buendia, Norwich boss Daniel Farke said: '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.'

Regardless of the price, Arteta believe Buendia would be a valuable addition to the team and a suitable replacement for Odegaard - who has spent the second half of this season on loan in north London.

As it stands, Odegaard's future at the club remains unclear as he could return to Real Madrid next season.

It is believed Odegaard could feature for the LaLiga side once again if current boss Zinedine Zidane leaves at the end of the campaign.

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