Xavi Qunitilla: Fitness concerns may see Norwich sign January replacement

The Canaries are also braced for January interest in winger Emi Buendia - with Atletico Madrid and Valencia among those interested in the Argentine

Xavi Quintilla
Image: Xavi Quintilla has been battling a hip problem and it is not known when he will be fit to return

Championship leaders Norwich are targeting the signing of a new left-back in January amid concerns over injured Xavi Quintilla.

The Spaniard, who is currently on a season-long loan from Villarreal, has been battling a hip problem and it is not known when he will be fit to return.

Quintilla has been back to Spain for treatment and since completed a coronavirus quarantine after returning to the UK, but still no date has been pencilled in for a return to training.

It has been a blow for the Canaries, with the capture of Quintilla seen as a coup in the summer, and he impressed across seven appearances at the start of this term.

Norwich have an obligation to buy the player but it is now uncertain whether he will play the required number of games to trigger this clause. He has now been out since October.

The club have therefore stepped up the search for a new left-back and are lining up a number of options as they continue to push for promotion straight back to the Premier League.

Bristol City v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship - Ashton Gate
Norwich City's Emi Buendia (right) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game with teammate Jacob Sorensen during the Sky Bet Championship match at Ashton Gate, Bristol.
Image: Norwich are braced for January interest in winger Emi Buendia (right)

One of the players key to their table-topping form has been Emi Buendia - and they are braced for interest in the Argentine winger. Sky Sports News reported in the summer that he has a number of admirers in Spain including Atletico Madrid and Valencia.

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Norwich are also in the process of identifying potential left-wing replacements for Buendia should a bid come in next month, with the Norfolk club looking for a fee in the region of £25m.

Buendia has previously been linked with Arsenal, while Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has also been keen on him in the past - but it is not clear whether Villa are targeting a player in this position.

Sky Sports News has learned Villa are, however, keen to add a left-back and left-sided centre-back to their squad when they can.

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