Leeds United are ready to return for Norwich City star Emiliano Buendia this summer and battle a long list of suitors for his services, according to Foot Mercato.
The online news outlet claims the Whites have him in their sights and are considering signing him, but that they face huge competition from home and abroad with the likes of Arsenal, West Ham and Atletico Madrid all eyeing up the 24-year-old.
He won’t come cheap, however, with newly-promoted Norwich demanding at least £34.7million for their influential playmaker who has directly contributed to 30 goals in the Championship this season, including 16 assists which is five more than any other player. [BBC Sport]
The Argentine’s form this season has drawn widespread praise, with The Athletic’s Michael Bailey one such admirer and he called him “sensational” on his personal Twitter profile in December, while Phil Hay of the same publication claimed last summer that the Whites had previously made contact for him.
Buendia was recently awarded the Championship Player of the Year award as recognition for his outstanding consistency this season that has helped Norwich bounce straight back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, as champions of the division.
He’s yet to make his international debut but Buendia recently recalled to the Guardian a conversation with world icon Lionel Messi, who asked him if he wanted to play for Argentina or Spain after being left impressed by his abilities.
The names being linked with Leeds hints heavily at the club trying to sign a new ‘conductor’ who can initiate and finish attacks.
Pablo Hernandez looks to be heading out of the Elland Road exit door with his influence on the wane, but there isn’t a clear replacement already at the club.
Therefore a creative spark who can play in the middle is likely to be one of Victor Orta’s priorities this summer and Buendia could fit the bill, while Rodrigo De Paul’s name refuses to subside.
Buendia looks to have the imagination to take over the Hernandez role but he might have to adapt to a new position.
According to WhoScored he has started all 38 of his Championship appearances this season from the right-hand side of midfield, but he wouldn’t be afforded that luxury at Leeds with Raphinha firmly established on the right-wing.
However if Marcelo Bielsa can get a tune out of someone like Tyler Roberts in the middle of midfield we don’t think he’ll have a problem shifting Buendia’s position, and he could be a smart pick-up this summer as someone with Premier League experience and undoubted ability.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Revelation’: Ben Parker drools over ‘Fantastic’ Leeds U23 ace on brink of step-up to first-team.