Martin Odegaard has confirmed that he will stay at Real Madrid next season rather than seek a new transfer with Arsenal after his loan spell.
The midfielder had a brilliant impact on the Gunners after arriving in January, following some torrid form. Alongside Emile Smith Rowe, though, the Norwegian 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.
Boss Mikel Arteta revealed he wanted the 22-year-old to stay. Indeed, he hoped that he had persuaded Odegaard that he had a platform to build on.
Amid such talk, though, reports of his transfer fee dampened talk of the move happening.
Speaking to TV2, Odegaard confirmed that he will return to Spain looking to play a key role for Los Blancos.
“Real Madrid have been clear that they would like me back,” he said. “So then it will be time to go there when the training starts up again.
“Of course it has always been a dream to play there.
“I have been in the club for over six years now, and that has always been the goal. I always want to play, I have said that all the time. Playing hard is important.”
The managerial shift in the Spanish capital could also play a telling role in Odegaard’s future hopes.
Carlo Ancelotti has replaced Zinedine Zidane, but Odegaard insists that he has had little contact with the new manager.
“No, not with him personally, but I have spoken a lot with the club and had a close contact,” he added. “So I feel they have a good overview.”
Arsenal targeting midfielder summer transfers
With Odegaard departing, the hunt is on for Arsenal to fill the void with a new midfielder.
Reports claim that the Gunners have reignited interest in Lyon’s Houssem Aour, who could now be available for £30million less than last summer.
Meanwhile, Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho has also been mentioned as a target.