Arsenal have not given up on signing Martin Odegaard – and the Real Madrid playmaker is warming to a return, according to reports.
Odegaard spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal from Madrid. His impact was largely positive, despite only managing one goal from 14 appearances. Therefore, Arsenal were tipped to try to sign him on a permanent basis. But their chances of doing so began to decrease.
Real invested in Odegaard at a young age and want to see some reward for that. To date, he has only made 11 appearances for their first team since his arrival in January 2015. Despite previous misunderstandings with Carlo Ancelotti, it was predicted that the attacking midfielder would get more chances under the Italian coach next season.
Odegaard confirmed his Arsenal exit with a heartfelt message towards the start of July. Thus, it appeared their dreams of keeping him were definitively over. Consequently, they have been linked with other creative midfielders, such as James Maddison of Leicester.
However, the track leading them back to Odegaard may not be closed. According to Football.London, Arsenal “have not given up” their hopes of bringing the Norwegian back.
They may have to wait until later in the transfer window to explore a deal, but the story is not necessarily over. Even though Odegaard would be fine with staying in Madrid, the club may sell him after all.
Furthermore, Cadena SER and Madridista Real confirm that Odegaard is in fact willing to leave the Spanish capital. His dream remains that of making it at the Bernabeu, but he has reflected on how he was treated at Arsenal. Hence, he could imagine returning to north London.
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Madrid will not stand in his way should he ask to leave, but he is yet to make such a decision. What’s more, Odegaard would not come cheap if Arsenal tried to re-sign him.
The 22-year-old is still contracted to Madrid for another two years, but will weigh up his options.
Arsenal also linked with Isco
If they cannot get Odegaard back from Madrid, Arsenal may try to sign his teammate Isco for the same position instead.
The Daily Express recently suggested that Isco could be a cut-price alternative to some of Arsenal’s other targets.
Los Blancos are looking to offload the 38-times capped Spain playmaker, after Ancelotti deemed him surplus to requirements.
Isco has just one year on his deal. With Real unlikely to offer him extended terms, they want to offload this summer while they still can.
Indeed, AS claimed Real have transfer-listed the player and have informed would-be suitors of his price. And the €17.5m (£15m) fee they are seeking is thought to have caught Mikel Arteta’s attention.
However, the Express claimed that Arsenal’s lack of European football could prove a problem.
Despite his 30th birthday looming, Isco still hopes to force his way back into the Spain squad for the 2022 World Cup.
He was overlooked by Luis Enrique this summer – along with every other Real Madrid player – as Spain reached the last four at Euro 2020.