Exclusive: Canaries’ La Liga coup as Leeds and Swansea target is primed for City switch
Norwich City are set for some Argentine flair next season after lining up the arrival of La Liga playmaker Emi Buendía.
The 21-year-old Argentina Under-20 international is understood to be primed for a £1.5m summer switch to Carrow Road from Spanish top-flight outfit Getafe.
Buendía spent last season on loan at La Liga 2 side Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa, where his performances earned him their player of the season award alongside 13 assists – the second-highest tally in the division – and six goals from his 40 appearances. Albeit, the forward’s efforts could not help Leonesa avoid relegation to Spain’s third tier.
The young right-footed Argentine was also capped three times by Spain’s Under-19 side and spent a year with Real Madrid’s youth set-up, before signing to Getafe’s development programme as a 14-year-old.
Buendía has been linked with moves to Swansea and Leeds in the last 12 months – the United link resurfacing in January, after he served a one-game ban for filming fellow Leonesa loanee Yelko Pino being disrespectful of La Cultural.
However, City may well have got to the player before then – with a deal that has spent a long time in the pipeline, and one the Canaries are believed to be excited about.
Indeed, Buendía’s ability to play on either flank and as a number 10 in a 4-2-3-1 formation seemingly earmarks the young forward as a direct replacement for Alex Pritchard, who left City to join Premier League survivors Huddersfield Town for £12m at the start of 2018.
No doubt Buendía’s arrival would also have the eyes of City fans casting a glance towards the future of James Maddison, who spent much of his stellar 2017-18 campaign as Norwich’s chief playmaker.
As we reported on Friday, Leicester are leading the chase to sign the Canaries’ player of the season and England Under-21 international – with Norwich looking for a fee worth in excess of £20m to sell their prized asset, in the setting of continued adjustment to life without parachute payments.
Everton and Premier League newcomers Fulham have also been linked with a move for Maddison, while his eventual sale could yet pave the way for a possible bid to sign Moritz Leitner on a longer-term deal.
The 25-year-old midfielder spent the second half of last season on loan from Bundesliga side Augsburg, making 12 appearances.
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