Norwich City are sitting pretty at the top of the Sky Bet Championship, but they face a big threat this month and it’s nothing to do with opposition teams they face on the pitch.
Apart from Ben Godfrey and Jamal Lewis, Canaries boss Daniel Farke kept his stars around following relegation from the Premier League last season, and that includes the right-sided pairing of Max Aarons and Emi Buendia.
Aarons had considerable interest in the summer from Spanish giants Barcelona, with Ronald Koeman trying his luck with a loan offer for the 21-year-old.
That was rejected and they didn’t pursue a further interest – opting for Ajax’s Sergino Dest instead – but with Godrey leaving to Everton for a big-money deal, Norwich did not need to cash-in on Aarons.
There was also interest, albeit no concrete offers, for exciting attacking midfielder Emi Buendia, who notched seven assists in the Canaries’ top-flight campaign last season.
His quality was there for all to see, and predictably he’s taken to the Championship with consummate ease, scoring seven times and assisting another seven goals in 19 appearances.
The Argentinian’s red-hot form has attracted major interest from Arsenal, who have been watching Buendia for months – but what is the latest on that front?
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The Telegraph reported last week that Norwich would not be entertaining any offers for Buendia this month, whether that be large cash bids or part exchange deals, as they want Buendia to see out the season and help guide the club back to the Premier League.
But in what may be concerning news to Norwich fans, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed that the Gunners have been in contact with representatives of Buendia, and that an official offer is ‘in the pipeline’.
That would be a major test of Norwich’s resolve and also a test of seeing where the 24-year-old’s head is at, as speculation linking him to one of England’s top clubs can surely be unsettling.
Despite Norwich’s firm stance, the Buendia saga looks likely to rumble on for the whole month, with the Norwich hierarchy and the club’s supporters keeping their fingers crossed than an official offer doesn’t come and Buendia’s head does not get turned.