Arsenal opted to sign Martin Odegaard instead of Norwich City playmaker Emi Buendia because they didn’t want to pay the Canaries’ €45 million (£39.8m) asking price this month, according to transfer insider Fabrizio Romano.
The Gunners have been linked with Buendia since the summer but opted to sign Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid instead this month.
Speaking to CaughtOffside, Romano indicated that Arsenal did contact the Norwich player’s representatives about a move but the finances proved a stumbling block.
He explained: “Arsenal were in touch with Emi Buendia’s agent but in the end they decided to go for Odegaard because of the money.
“Norwich were asking for €40-45million, so for Arsenal it was really difficult to complete this deal in January.”
Buendia has been a key man for Norwich this term, scoring seven goals and added seven assists as he’s helped Daniel Farke’s side move six points clear at the top of the Championship as they look to bounce straight back up to the Premier League.
Reports earlier this month indicated that the Gunners may now be working toward a summer move for the Argentine, something that it is understood his representatives are keen on.
On the prospect of a summer move, Romano added: “In the summer we’ll see, but I think there will be other clubs also in the race for this Argentinian player.”
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Around £40 million is a lot of money to part ways with in January, particularly this season, so it’s no surprise that the Gunners opted for the more cost-effective signing in Odegaard.
The fresh details Romano has provided on Arsenal’s pursuit of Buendia indicate that they were very keen and could return for him in the summer, though we know that Norwich are ready to play hardball.
With his contract set to expire in 2024, they’re in a strong negotiating position.
One thing seems near-certain – Buendia will be playing Premier League football next year, whether that’s with Norwich or elsewhere.