Mikel Arteta continues to push hard to bring Martin Odegaard back to Arsenal – but a move to sign an alternative looks destined to fail for the Gunners.
Norwegian star Odegaard had a brilliant impact on the Gunners after arriving in January. Alongside Emile Smith Rowe, he helped solidify Arsenal’s season, even if it did not result in European football for next season. Overall, he played 14 Premier League games, chipping in with one goal and two assists.
Debate began earlier this year about whether Arsenal would look to fund a permanent move for Odegaard.
Despite Real Madrid sticking a big fee on his move, Arteta made no secret of his desire to bring Odegaard back. Indeed, he hoped that he had persuaded Odegaard that he had a platform to build on.
Alongside the huge fee Real will demand, one of the big challenges that Arsenal face is in persuading the Spaniards to sell.
He is understood to be rated highly by Carlo Ancelotti, who plans to give Odegaard a chance to shine at the Bernabeu.
However, competition is fierce in that area of the field for Los Blancos. With Luka Modric and Toni Kroos well established, Real can also count on Federico Valverde and Casemiro in the midfield.
Now, as per AS, Odegaard has not had a good pre season and has slipped behind Isco in the pecking order.
Indeed, the Spain star was handed the nod ahead of Odegaard to start Sunday’s friendly against AC Milan.
And while the Norwegian came off the bench for the final 30 minutes, he appears down the pecking order under Ancelotti.
As such, Football Espana claims Odegaard will reassess his situation in the coming fortnight. Real play three LaLiga games before the transfer window closes. And they indicate he could push to leave should he not feature prominently in any of those games.
Furthermore, AS states that Arteta is keeping in regular contact with Odegaard. They state he is doing ‘everything possible’ to bring the player back to Emirates this summer.
Speaking at the start of the summer, Arteta said: “We have a very clear and strong opinion on what we would like to do. He’s not our player.
“We’ll have discussions in the next few weeks. But first of all we need to respect that he’s a Real Madrid player. We’ll have those communications.
“We’ve tried to make everything that we could to get Martin performing for the team, which I think he’s done. He has adapted really well to our way of playing and to our football club.
“Hopefully we have given him the hope and the feeling that this could be a good place for him.”
Odegaard more likely than Maddison for Arsenal
As such, trusted transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano states Arsenal’s interest in Odegaard has never wavered.
Indeed, the Norwegian’s name has come sharply back into focus. That’s after Arsenal had been linked with James Maddison in recent weeks.
The Leicester playmaker is understood to be open to the idea of a move to the Gunners.
However, reports in Monday’s Paper Talk claims Leicester have stuck a £100m price tag on Maddison’s head. Quoting the fee Manchester City have spent to sign Jack Grealish, it’s reported the Foxes want parity should any move for Maddison materialise.
But that fee is far beyond what Arsenal were expecting to pay. Even at the previously-reported £60m asking price, Arsenal knew they would get better value elsewhere.
Now with that fee going through the roof, it has brought Odegaard’s name very firmly back into Arteta’s thinking.