Before the window Edu confirmed that the club’s priority would be to bring in a central creative player, and despite the recent form of Emile Smith Rowe, that remains the case.
Rumours around Isco have died down, while football.london understands Julian Brandt wants to fight for his place at Borussia Dortmund, but one story that has kept going throughout January are the links to Norwich’s Emi Buendia.
However, he sidestepped the question by responding: “Yeah we get linked with players that we haven’t even discussed, so as you can imagine I cannot go name by name.”
With Buendia’s form though it is easy to see why Arsenal are interested.
The Argentinian has seven goals and seven assists for Norwich this season and was recently nominated for the Championship’s player of the month award for December.
It would seem that he is exactly the kind of player Mikel Arteta’s side need right now.
If the victory against Newcastle on Saturday proved anything it’s that without Emile Smith Rowe in the side the Gunners look almost totally devoid of creativity. But to solely rely on a 20-year-old with a poor injury record for the remainder of the season would be a big risk.
From the player’s end sources close to Emi Buendia have informed football.london that he is open to the idea of a move to play at the highest level.
In an interview with Dame Futbol in Argentina the 24-year-old revealed his desire to get back to the Premier League one way or another.
“I aspire to the best and work every day to get back to the Premier League, either in my team or through a transfer,” he said. “Returning to the Premier League in the short term is a dream.
“It is true that there was a lot of talk in the summer, after relegation, about the possibility that both I and other teammates could leave the team to continue in the Premier League.
“However, I always had my head on this club. I belong to Norwich, I have to do things well for my team. Tomorrow we will see, but I never had my head outside the objectives, to work so that my club does well.”
The stumbling block as things stand is the Buendia’s price tag. Reports have suggested that a fee of up to £40m has been quoted, and while football.london understands that these are wide of the mark, the 24-year-old is unlikely to come cheap.
Norwich are currently four points clear at the top of the Championship and will be unlikely to sell such a key player. The long-term financial benefits of promotion to the Premier League are likely to outweigh the short-term gain of selling Buendia, so the Canaries are likely to have a sizeable asking price.
Their manager Daniel Farke has also come out and publicly claimed that the player is going nowhere.
“Emi is a key player for us, an important member of the group, and he is totally committed to us,” said the German.
“He is our player and will continue to be our player – he is on a long-term contract with the club so we keep him.”
Arsenal are not exactly flushed with cash at the moment.
The ongoing financial implications of the coronavirus have meant the club have had to take out a £120m loan from the government to help with cash flow at the moment so it is difficult to see where they will muster up the funds required to secure the services of Emi Buendia.
With that in mind a summer move looks to be the more likely outcome as things stand.
That said though, the Gunners have surprised us late in the window before. Just look at the Thomas Partey deal in October. With three weeks of the window remaining, it is far too early to rule anything out right now.