Aston Villa have agreed a package worth an initial £33m to sign Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City in a record deal for both clubs.
Buendia, who was named Championship player of the season after inspiring the Canaries to promotion back to the Premier League, had also attracted serious interest from Arsenal but his preference remained a move to Villa, whose interest has been longstanding.
Arsenal had offered equivalent personal terms to Aston Villa and were growing confident of completing the signing, however, the final decision remained with Buendia and he informed Arsenal’s technical director, Edu, of his choice on Friday. Norwich respected Buendia’s wish and verbally agreed the deal with Villa that evening.
The Independent understands he will sign a five-year contract worth around £80,000-per-week plus bonuses.
Buendia, who is currently on international duty with Argentina, joined Norwich for just £1.5m from Getafe in 2018, representing a huge profit for the Canaries.
He scored 15 goals and added 16 assists in the Championship last season and had also attracted interest from clubs in Europe, but the 24-year-old is happily settled in England.
His decision comes as a major blow to Arsenal who had made Buendia a key target after it became clear a permanent move for Martin Odegaard remained complicated.