Arsenal are edging closer to signing Martin Odegaard on a permanent deal from Real Madrid and he could even be included in the squad to face Chelsea on Sunday
Arsenal are closing in on the permanent signing of Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard and he could be available for Sunday’s clash against Chelsea.
And while a deal is yet to be finalised between the two clubs, it is understood the Norwegian is poised to seal his move for a fee in the region of €35 million (£29.8m).
The report adds that Arsenal could even complete the deal in time for their London derby against Chelsea on Sunday, but the Gunners face an uphill battle to get the deal over the line in time.
The 22-year-old enjoyed a key role during his five-month spell in north London after joining on loan in January, scoring twice in 20 appearances.
Mikel Arteta was keen to keep Odegaard at the Emirates Stadium in some capacity and publicly stated his desire in April to keep the playmaker on a permanent basis.
But with new boss Carlo Ancelotti taking over at the Santiago Bernabeu in June, the Italian wanted to get a closer look at all of his players before making a decision on his final squad.
However, the Norway international has only featured intermittently throughout pre-season and reports in Spain had suggested he had been distracted by Arsenal’s interest.
Now, it seems he will get his wish to head back to England after the two clubs made a breakthrough in negotiations this week, with Real lowering their reported demands over his asking price – believed to have been £60m at first.
Local news outlets in Spain reported the midfielder held a meeting with Ancelotti last week to discuss his plans for the season and the Real coach insisted he would play an “important” role for the team.
But Odegaard was not included in Real’s matchday squad for the trip to Alaves, who they beat 4-1 on Saturday.
That fuelled speculation that he would be heading for the exit, although Ancelotti insisted it was a temporary solution due to his bloated size of his squad.
“Like [Jesus] Vallejo’s issue, the fact of the non-registration is not a technical issue, but a circumstance of the moment, because we did not have the possibility to register everyone,” he said after the game.
“It may be that tomorrow this changes. The final list is September 2.
“Odegaard has done well. I have spoken with him and I have told him that in the midfielder position there is a lot of competition, because we have eight very important players in this position. Nothing else.
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“Like [Dani] Ceballos and [Jesus] Vallejo, it is not a definitive dismissal. I had to register only two and I have chosen [Luka] Jovic and [Gareth] Bale for the match. It is momentary.”
It appears that after his latest snub, Odegaard’s time in Spain is coming to an end after making just eight appearances for Los Blancos in his six years at the club.
He was farmed out on loan at Eredivisie outfits Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem before starring for Real Sociedad in 2019-20.
But it seems he has finally found a new home in London after enjoying a prominent role in the Gunners’ side last season.
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Arteta has already spent £75m on three new signings with Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares all arriving this summer.
But their need for more reinforcements was laid bare after producing a dismal display in their opening fixture of the new Premier League season, losing 2-0 to Brentford on Friday.
Arteta has lacked a natural No.10 since the departure of Mesut Ozil and has trialled Emile Smith Rowe there, but the Spaniard appears to have finally got his man in Odegaard.