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Arsenal will have to turn elsewhere after Aston Villa confirmed they have reached an agreement with Norwich for the transfer of Emiliano Buendia.
As exclusively revealed by Mirror Football, the Villans have won the race to make Buendia their club record signing, in a huge blow to the Gunners, who had also been chasing the Argentine.
Villa confirmed in a statement: "Aston Villa and Norwich City have reached an agreement for the transfer of Emiliano Buendia.
"As Emiliano is currently in the Argentina national team’s biosecure bubble, preparing for a World Cup qualifying match with Colombia on Tuesday evening, he will undergo a medical and complete the transfer after the game."
So with Buendia no longer in the shop window, here are five alternative ways for Arsenal to spend their money this summer.
Martin Odegaard remains the main target of Arsenal this summer
(Image: Getty Images)
1. Martin Odegaard
It's no secret that Mikel Arteta is desperate to make Odegaard a permanent addition to his squad this summer after an impressive loan spell.
And missing out on Buendia means that he has even less options in the search for a new creative source.
Odegaard is likely to cost more than Buendia would have done, but their chances of landing the Norwegian rests heavily on whether new Bernabeu boss Carlo Ancelotti makes him part of his plans at Real Madrid.
Aston Villa announce Emi Buendia transfer as Arsenal miss out on £35million target
Odegaard would be a brilliant signing – arguably better than Buendia – but the output must justify the cost, and he will need to provide more than three goal contributions if he is going cost upwards of £50m.
2. Wilfried Zaha
Desperate to finally seek a return from Crystal Palace, this could finally be the summer that Zaha makes a move across the capital.
Arsenal and Tottenham have been linked with the Ivorian by the Times, who could available for just £40m, just a smidge over what it would have cost to sign Buendia.
Who should Arsenal sign this summer? Comment below
Zaha is more of an out and out forward than Buendia, but with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang waining and Emile Smith Rowe on the up, that could be exactly where Arsenal need to invest this summer.
Arteta is a known admirer of Zaha, so the 28-year-old would no doubt slot straight in, whether that's as a striker or on the wing.
3. Yves Bissouma
Brighton midfielder Bissouma is clearly keen on a move to Arsenal, with Football.London claiming that he has told his agent that he wants to join Arsenal, the club he supported as a boy.
And now the Gunners aren't spending £35m on Buendia, that move could well be a reality.
Competition from Liverpool and three seasons of regular Premier League football mean he will cost a very similar amount to Buendia, but a calming presence in midfield is exactly what Arsenal have needed for years.
Playing alongside Thomas Partey or Granit Xhaka as the holding player, Bissouma would be allowed to show his dynamism and drive from deep, while also covering if a more attacking player is picked alongside him.
Ruben Neves has impressed for both Wolves and Portugal in recent seasons
(Image: Getty Images)
4. Ruben Neves
A defensive-midfielder with an eye for goal, Neves really can do it all, and has become known for his long-range screamers at Wolves.
The Portugal international is truly one of the most established talents in the Premier League, but the Sun claim that the 24-year-old would only cost £35m – the same as Buendia.
Wolves are thought to be open to selling Neves this summer in order to invest in other areas of their squad and get back into Europe under new management.
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But the Black Country outfit's loss would definitely be Arsenal's gain, with Neves sure to become a huge influence if he were to become a Gunner.
5. Raheem Sterling
Arsenal have emerged as surprise favourites to sign Sterling this summer, with the winger said to be unhappy at the Etihad.
There has been talk of the England international being involved in a swap deal with Tottenham for Harry Kane, but that speculation has gone cold.
Raheem Sterling has slipped down the pecking order at Manchester City
Sterling is one of those expected to be on the chopping block if City have a clear-out this summer, and as a wide man with a proven goal record, he'd present a similar prospect to Buendia.
However, as a home-grown talent with bags of Premier League experience, he could cost a small fortune.