Aston Villa have opened talks to sign 'exceptional' Grealish replacement - pundit

Noel Whelan has suggested Norwich City ace Emi Buendia could replace Jack Grealish at Aston Villa.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted numerous clubs would want to sign the “exceptional” Argentinian this summer.

As revealed by Football Insider on Tuesday, Villa have opened preliminary talks with third parties over a deal for the 24-year-old.

Norwich have indicated they will reluctantly accept a £30million offer for the playmaker.

Villa are in the market for two new wide forwards and have made contact with the Canaries to register their interest in Buendia.

Whelan suggested the versatile forward could replace Grealish should the Villans’ talisman leave.

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Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: You’re looking at a player that has been in the Premier League and done in the Premier League despite getting relegated.

“They didn’t spend any money in Norwich, hardly, when they got into the Premier League. The reason why they went back down was because of that, but they also do have some exceptional talent.

“Buendia is a wanted man by many clubs. He’s been a standout like a sore thumb for that club. Somebody that is brave on the ball, wants the ball, can make things happen, can link up with the number nine and the wide men and dictates play.

“That’s what Grealish does. I don’t think he would have the same stats as Grealish but you’d probably £70million better off and getting a player that could manage that role.”

Buendia scored 15 times and contributed a further 17 assists in 39 appearances this term.

He played 36 times during the Canaries’ last spell in the Premier League, with one goal and seven assists to his name.

In other news, Aston Villa could sign Frank Lampard-type star, claims Alex McLeish.