Arsenal look to beaten off late competition for Martin Odegaard and are soon expected to announce a deal for the Real Madrid playmaker.
Odegaard made it clear recently that he wanted to leave Madrid so that his development does not stagnate.
After joining the club as a 16-year-old six years ago, Odegaard has struggled to break into the first team. He was showing promise on loan at Real Sociedad last season, but then Madrid called him back.
The attacking midfielder may have expected to play a bigger role at the Bernabeu after his loan in the Basque Country was interrupted. However, that has not been the case.
Odegaard has only started three La Liga matches so far this season. The Norway international has clocked up just 233 minutes of league action in total.
Indeed, the player has played just five minutes of football since the start of December.
Reports through the week claimed Arsenal had opened talks with Real over a deal.
Now, according to El Confidencial, a deal to take Odegaard to north London on loan for the rest of the season has been agreed.
The deal will be a real coup for technical director Edu following some recent criticism of his signings.
But Odegaard will allow Arsenal the chance to add some much needed creativity to their midfield.
In another feather in Edu’s cap, it’s also emerged that Arsenal beat off late competition from Real Sociedad to sign the player. As per Kike Marin, Edu’s determination to seal the deal won the day. He put forward a strong case to take Odegaard to Arsenal – and it seems he’s warmed to his approach after intially favouring a return to the Basque country.
Odegaard earns a modest £38,000 a week at the Bernabeu and it’s reported Arsenal will pick up the entirity of his salary during his time in north London. The Gunners will also pay Los Blancos a loan fee of around £2m, as per The Sun.
The deal is not believed to contain any clause to buy. However, should Arsenal look to sign him permanently, it’s believed Real would be open to his sale this summer.
Norway coach backs Odegaard transfer
Norway head coach Stale Solbakken, meanwhile, has given a glowing reference to Odegaard, ahead of the switch.
“First of all if it happens I think it shows that Martin has an extremely high confidence in himself, considering he is going into a new league and a team that, although they have improved a lot lately, had some good wins and climbed the table,” Solbakken said.
“But it is a great team with great traditions that has underperformed for a while now, they are rebuilding.
“I think they have a very good manager. I like Arteta and the way he tries to set up the team.
“But he is not coming to a club that is a self-propelled machine in any kind of way. He is coming to another culture, another country, a different tempo.
“It shows that the boy has great belief in what he is doing. That makes me happy.
“I think the way Arsenal play can fit him very well. They play different formations and a kind of football that should suit him.”