Arsenal hope to add further appeal to Martin Odegaard by trying to sign RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku to play alongside him in a new-look midfield.
The Gunners are desperately hoping to land Norwegian Odegaard on a permanent deal this summer. After a slow start, he’s found his feet in recent weeks and has helped orchestrate a late surge for the European places. After scoring a scorcher against Olympiacos, he was then on target against Tottenham in the derby. Since then, Odegaard proved himself the key man as Arsenal fought back from 3-0 down to draw at West Ham. Excelling in the No 10 role, the Norwegian had a 93% pass completion rate and created four chances.
Even Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang conceded that he’ll ask Odegaard to make his stay permanent.
Those hopes were further boosted earlier this week when Odegaard spoke warmly about Mikel Arteta and ‘feeling at home’ with Arsenal.
Now, according to Sky Germany, the Gunners are also trying to recruit another top star in Nkunku to play alongside Odegaard. The French midfielder has made himself a household name in the Bundesliga since ditching PSG. He has become a regular in their side under Julian Nagelsmann, scoring seven times and assisting six in 31 appearances this season.
Arsenal were initially keen to land Nkunku when he left for Leipzig in 2019. Looking back, they probably rue not pushing harder given his success since a £11.7m move.
However, Sky Germany claims Gunners’ eyes are now firmly fixed on recruiting Nkunku again. They state he’s just one of several Leipzig stars likely to leave this summer. They have already lost Dayot Upamecano to Bayern Munich, while Ibrahima Konate is being strongly linked with Liverpool.
Furthermore, Marcel Sabitzer is also likely to move on, with Tottenham leading the charge.
Nkunku would also be another huge loss to Nagelsmann. The report claims there is a possibility he ‘could move to England’ with Arsenal.
A partnership with Odegaard, perhaps with the equally talented Emile Smith-Rowe or Bukayo Saka, operating as a three behind the central striker, would certainly excite Gunners fans.
Odegaard asking price emerges
The Gunners, however, will certainly focus on signing Odegaard as their priority.
The midfielder has spent time on loan with Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad during his time in Madrid. He has made just 11 appearances for Los Blancos, prompting speculation of a move away.
Despite his lack of action for Real, there’s a belief among their staff that Odegaard is heading for the top.
That said, with finances tight and amid links to Kylian Mbappe, the LaLiga giants could consider his sale.
As such, it’s reported Real will seek a minimum £40m fee for the midfielder, whose contract runs until 2023.
The Gunners aren’t his only suitors either, it seems. Reports have recently suggested Liverpool and Chelsea could make a move for Odegaard were he to become available.