Arsenal will reportedly turn their attention to Juventus forward Paulo Dybala if they fail to sign Martin Odegaard on a permanent basis.
Odegaard, 22, penned a six-month loan deal at the Emirates in January. The Norway ace made an immediate impression for the north Londoners. He has already enjoyed 12 appearances in all competitions, with eight of those coming in the Premier League.
His only league goal was an important one, as the Scandinavian bagged the Gunners first in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham. And it seems as though Mikel Arteta is keen to secure his services on a permanent basis from Real Madrid.
However, it emerged earlier this week that the youngster and Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane are on the same page. He has only made 11 Real appearances since penning terms in 2015.
But Zidane sees his loan spell in London as a way of gaining experience and confidence. He also has a huge exit clause in his Bernabeu contract and feels his long-term future is at Real.
That is a hammer blow to Arsenal’s hopes of getting him on board beyond this summer. It remains to be seen what happens at the end of 2020-2021 but Arteta already has other plans.
Dybala in demand
The Spanish tactician has reportedly begged the Arsenal hierarchy to try and make Odegaard’s stay permanent. But that prospect appears to be shrinking by the week.
And it now seems as though they will join the race for Juve ace Dybala. According to Spanish publication Sport, the Gunners feel he would be a more than adequate alternative.
Capped 29 times by Argentina, the 27-year-old has endured a frustrating season with the Old Lady. He has been out of action since January with a knee injury and has made just 16 appearances in all competitions.
But there is no doubting his quality when fit and both Chelsea and Tottenham are thought to be keen. It was reported earlier this week that the Turin outfit are considering Dybala’s future.
Vice-president Pavel Nedved told DAZN: “He has one year left in his contract and I have nothing to add to what [Fabio] Paratici and [Andrea] Agnelli already said. Juventus will evaluate every opportunity in the market.”
That alerted the London duo and Arsenal’s interest makes it three capital clubs keen on the South American. The former Palermo man is under contract until the summer of 2022.
It seems as though Juve may cash in during the off-season to avoid losing him for nothing next year. He is not short of suitors and it is open to debate whether Arsenal could offer him what he wants.
There will be no Champions League football at the club next season. And, of the trio, Chelsea seem best placed to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition.
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