Gabby Agbonlahor has claimed Aston Villa were prepared to offer Norwich City a better financial package than Arsenal to secure the signing of Emiliano Buendia.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Villa captain also suggested the presence of Buendia’s fellow Argentine and namesake Emiliano Martinez also helped get the deal over the line.
Football Insider understands the deal will cost Villa a whopping £57million in fees, wages and add ons.
The Midlands outfit will pay Norwich an initial £33million fee plus £5million in odds and will hand Buendia a basic salary of £75,000-a-week wages.
Arsenal also presented the Canaries with an offer but Football Insider understands he was blown away by Villa’s “huge” ambition.
Buendia caught the eye of both sides after netting 15 goals and providing 17 assists in the Championship as he was named as the division’s player of the season.
“Martinez will have helped get the signing over the line,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“I heard from sources that Villa put a better package together to Norwich as well. So there’ll be a few different reasons why.
“But it’s always a plus because maybe four or five years ago Buendia would have said ‘No, I want to go to Arsenal.’
“It shows where Villa are heading. He probably saw Villa play and saw where we finished, so close to Arsenal.
“You can understand why he wanted to come.”
Villa finished in 11th-position, just six points behind Arsenal who ended the season in eighth – outside of the European places.
The Gunners lost both league games to Villa during the season.