Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said that Martin Odegaard “demanded” to leave the club for Arsenal.
Odegaard joined Arsenal on loan for the rest of the season during the January transfer window. His chances at the Bernabeu had been limited under Zidane.
He spent last season on loan with Real Sociedad in La Liga, impressing enough to earn a chance back at Madrid. However, he made just three La Liga starts in the first half of the season.
Therefore, the 22-year-old decided to leave – a choice that has not gone down well with everyone in Madrid.
Now, Zidane has shed more light on how the move came about, revealing that he told the midfielder to stay in Spain.
Zidane told reporters (via Marca): “He wanted to leave, we have spoken about it two or three times. He is a player who wants to play.
“Martin wanted to leave, he wanted to get minutes and chances elsewhere. The player demanded it. I told him to stay and fight, but it wasn’t to be.
“In the end it is everyone’s decision. I hope he is happy.”
Odegaard could extend Arsenal stay
Odegaard has played just once for Arsenal so far as he settles into his new surroundings. However, there are already claims that the Gunners could look to extend his deal if he does well.
According to Eurosport, Odegaard does not want to return to Madrid while Zidane is still in charge. Therefore, a longer spell at the Emirates Stadium could be possible.
However, Zidane is under pressure in the Spanish capital and it is claimed he could be sacked if he does not win a trophy this season.
Real have already been knocked out of the Copa Del Rey and are 10 points off rivals Atletico in La Liga. Therefore, his future is in question too.
That could prompt Odegaard to re-consider his own future, but at present, his sole focus will be on having a positive second half of the season with Arsenal.