According to the Independent, Arsenal are exploring a player-plus-cash deal in an effort to sign Emiliano Buendia from Norwich during the January transfer window.
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney reports that the cash-strapped Gunners need to offload players before they can recruit any, a notion that Mikel Arteta himself confirmed just a few days ago.
It’s added that Arteta ‘greatly admires’ the Canaries star, with the 24-year-old eyed as the kind of player that could improve Arsenal’s creativity – which was dire before a run of three straight wins.
The Independent report that the north London outfit are willing to offer academy graduates Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock in an effort to drive down Norwich’s minimum valuation of £40m for Buendia.
Nelson and Willock are both 21 years old and have shown promise since breaking into the Gunners’ first-team over the past couple of seasons.
Winger Nelson has not featured since the start of December as Arteta recently admitted his ‘mistake’ and clarified that this was due to injury trouble and not the talent being cast aside.
Willock on the other hands has made 15 first-team appearances for Arsenal this season, however the versatile midfielder’s started just two Premier League games and is largely used as a substitute for the respectfully more important top-flight fixtures – or left on the bench entirely.
Buendia has been phenomenal for Norwich since joining from Getafe in the summer of 2018, Canaries boss Daniel Farke insists that the Norfolk outfit plan to ‘keep’ the attacking midfielder after the Argentine scored the decisive goal for his side against Barnsley in serious style this weekend.
Buendia registered 20 goal contributions in the Championship as Norwich won promotion in 18/19, providing seven assists and looked like a bright spark for the Canaries as they were relegated from the Premier League last season and already has 14 goals and assists from 19 appearances this term.
Arteta stated himself that the club needed to be ‘careful’ in who they recruit in January with regards to the development of their young talent, but this would be a move that directly goes against that.
With players like Gabriel Martinelli returning from injury for the Gunners as of late, as well as Emile Smith Rowe making the most of his long-awaited chance in the first-team this season, the likes of Nelson especially and even Willock could find action very difficult to come by.