Norway international Martin Odegaard expecting to be granted his wish to leave on loan this month for regular first-team football; Real Madrid board currently considering latest proposal from London club; Arsenal face strong competition for Odegaard
Thursday 21 January 2021 18:42, UK
Arsenal have made an approach to Real Madrid for attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard.
Odegaard is expecting to be granted his wish to leave on loan this month for regular first-team football, and the Real Madrid board is currently considering the latest proposal from the London club.
The 22-year-old impressed while on loan at la Real last season, registering seven goals and nine assists across 36 appearances, and it was thought there was an option for a further season-long loan, but Real decided to call him back and be part of the first-team squad.
Arsenal have already failed with an approach for the midfielder and face strong competition from Real Sociedad, who have approached Real Madrid about taking him back on loan, as well as a number of Premier League clubs.
Leicester were interested in the possibility of a loan deal for the Norway international when it first became clear that Madrid were prepared to let him leave - but after preliminary discussions, they decided not to pursue him.
Odegaard has struggled for game time under Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane this season, featuring just 12 times without scoring a goal.
Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth on The Transfer Show:
"Arteta was not giving too much away in his press conference as far as Martin Odegaard was concerned.
"What do we know? Arsenal have made two enquiries for Odegaard, Real Madrid are considering the proposal amongst other proposals from other clubs like Sevilla, Ajax and clubs in Germany.
"One of those other clubs is Real Sociedad and some suggest Sociedad could be Odegaard's preferred option. He was on loan there last season, starting 29 La Liga games.
"He was then surprisingly recalled a year early from that loan, but has only started three games for Real so far this season, so clearly things are not right behind the scenes.
"And with that in mind, the relationship between Odegaard and Zidane is said to be strained, so it is expected he will be allowed to leave on loan.
"But to Sociedad, Arsenal, or somewhere else? Things in Arsenal's favour are their good relations with Real, having taken Dani Ceballos for a second season on loan, while Madrid may not want to strengthen a rival in La Liga."
Sky Sports' Peter Smith:
What would Odegaard bring to the Premier League? Well, hype, hope, and a lot of media attention for starters.
The attention of the footballing world was centred on him in 2015 when, a month after his 16th birthday, Real Madrid won the race for his signature - and the interest in the now 22-year-old will ignite again if he comes to these shores.
Already a Norway international when he joined Real, Odegaard - who had drawn excitable comparisons with Lionel Messi - immediately began training with the first team and became the club's youngest-ever player in the final game of that season.
Back then, the anticipation of what Odegaard would become at the Bernabeu knew no bounds - but his progress, perhaps disappointingly for some, has been quieter since, as the gradual progression of a midfield technician has taken shape.
Patience is paying off now, though. After an underwhelming 18-month loan spell at Heerenveen, Odegaard had a standout season at Vitesse in 2018/19, creating more chances than any other player in the Netherlands' top flight, and finishing third in the assists charts to Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech.
He backed it up with an impressive season at Real Sociedad last year, when he hit double figures for goal contributions, and was recalled to Real Madrid as a result.
While a way into Zinedine Zidane's line-up has ultimately been hard to find, Premier League clubs are now pursuing a classy creator, a pass master, and an attacking midfielder with a fine touch and bright awareness of the game.
Odegaard - if he does come to England - will bring excitement on the pitch as well as off it.
Arsenal are set to lose Mesut Ozil, who they signed from Real in 2013, imminently, with the creative midfielder's move to Fenerbahce set to be finalised on Friday once his period of quarantine is over following his arrival in Turkey.
Arsenal and Ozil are close to finalising the outstanding details of his contract termination ahead of joining Super Lig club Fenerbahce on a three-and-a-half-year deal as a free agent.
Ozil, whose contract at the Emirates was due to expire this summer, arrived in Istanbul on Sunday evening and is quarantining in Istanbul, in line with Turkey's Covid-19 protocols.
On Sunday, the 2014 World Cup winner with Germany said goodbye to his Arsenal team-mates and staff at the club's training ground.
"I am a Fenerbahce fan," Ozil told NTV in Turkey earlier this week
"That is why I am very happy to be coming to Turkey with Fenerbahce. I'm very excited. God gave me the chance to wear this jersey as a Fenerbahce fan. God willing, I will carry it with honour and do everything I can for the team."
The winter transfer window is open until Monday, February 1 at 11pm.
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