Norwich City transfer rumours: A potential Buendia replacement?
- Credit: Archant
Norwich City and Fiorentina are reportedly leading the interest in Pedro de La Vega, with the Canaries said to see the winger as a possible replacement for Emi Buendia.
The Lanus star is currently with the Argentina Under-23 squad in Spain for a training camp in Marbella ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo next month.
He featured as a substitute during a 2-1 win over Denmark U20s on Wednesday, with another friendly against Saudi Arabia planned for Friday.
Argentine TV station TYC Sports report that Gennaro Gattuso, the boss of Italian side Fiorentina, has visited the camp in recent days but that the Serie A side haven't made an offer for the 20-year-old yet.
The report also claims Norwich see de La Vega as a potential replacement for Buendia, who is poised to seal his move to Aston Villa for an initial £33m after completing his time with the Argentina senior side.
As a player who has been a regular starter in the Argentine top flight and in the Copa Sudamericana - the South American equivalent of the Europa League - it's believed de La Vega could meet the UK's post-Brexit work permit regulations, particularly as he has 14 caps at under-20 level for one of the top-ranked nations.
He was part of the Argentina squad which were knocked out of the U20 World Cup in the last 16 in 2019, losing a penalty shootout against Mali.
At club level, the skilful attacker made his debut for Lanus at 17 years old and has been a regular starter in the Copa de la Liga and the Copa Sudamericana.
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Lanus reached the final of the last Copa Sudamericana, losing in the final to fellow Argentine side Defensa in January.
Transfermarkt credit de La Vega as having scored 10 goals and assisted five during 67 appearances for his club.
The Buenos Aires side won the league and cup double in 2016 and then made it all the way to the final of their top continental competition, the Copa Libertadores, for the first time in 2017 but were beaten by Brazilian side Gremio.
VERDICT: Certainly looks like a player who can make things happen but it would be a big move for a 20-year-old who may need time to settle into life in England and the Premier League, rather than being able to replace Buendia immediately.
Fiorentina finished in mid-table in Serie A so do not have European football to offer, with City's coffers set to be boosted by their club-record sale of Buendia.
The Florence side do have players from Argentina, Brazil and Chile in their squad though, including Argentina defender Lucas Martinez Quarta, who was signed from River Plate last year in a deal reportedly worth up to £10million.
With two years remaining on his contract, de La Vega could potentially represent an undiscovered gem with big potential but the report suggests City's interest is yet to progress.