Arsenal have been given hope of sealing the permanent transfer of Real Madrid attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard.
The Norway international has just joined the Gunners on loan from Real, replacing Mesut Ozil in that number ten role in Mikel Arteta’s side in what could be a fine piece of business.
It remains to be seen if Arsenal have much of a chance of extending Odegaard’s stay beyond the end of this season, or even if they’ll want to, as there’s no guarantee he’ll be a success.
Still, a creative talent like Odegaard is clearly needed at the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal ending up moving for him on loan as a cheap alternative to Emi Buendia, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, Romano explained that Arsenal could also use their strong relationship with Real Madrid’s board to keep Odegaard on a permanent deal, whilst also pointing out that, while Los Blancos plan to keep the player, they also initially had that same plan with Achraf Hakimi before selling him to Inter Milan.
“Arsenal were in touch with Emi Buendia’s agent but in the end they decided to go for Odegaard because of the money,” Romano said. “Norwich were asking for €40-45million, so for Arsenal it was really difficult to complete this deal in January. In the summer we’ll see, but I think there will be other clubs also in the race for this Argentinian player.
“The situation with Odegaard is really open I think. Obviously at the moment it’s only a simple loan, so all the people at Real Madrid say ‘he will come back, we count on him for the future, he’s our player, we are so happy with Martin for the future’, so that’s the position for Madrid. But they were saying the same, for example, with Hakimi, the right-back from Borussia Dortmund. They were ready to bring him back to Real Madrid, but then they received a big, big proposal from Inter, €40m, and then they decided to accept.
“They are always open to negotiate at Madrid because they have a lot of quality players, so I think it will be important who will be the manager of Real Madrid next season. If they have a new manager with a new project, they will have to make a decision on Odegaard.
“What I can tell you is they will meet at the end of the season, Arsenal and Real Madrid, they have an amazing relationship between the two boards, the two managers, and they will decide about Odegaard and Ceballos together. But for sure it won’t be so easy for Arsenal to keep this player because for sure if he shows his skills, Real Madrid will set a big price for Martin Odegaard.”
Romano also discussed another creative midfielder in Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, and suggested a move to Arsenal was now unlikely, with Juventus asking about a possible future deal for the Frenchman.
“(Aouar) wants to play in the Champions League. That was the problem for Arsenal, and also the price because Lyon were asking for €60m,” Romano said.
“It will be key to see what clubs are playing in the Champions League next season and then he will make his final decision. There are a lot of clubs interested – Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus.
“I can tell you Juventus had a meeting yesterday with the agent of a young player Marley Ake, and in this meeting were the same agents of Aouar, so they asked about Aouar. Let’s see if Juventus try to sign him.”