Arsenal believe that on-loan midfielder Martin Odegaard would be open to remaining at the Emirates Stadium beyond the end of this season.
The Norway international has been a revelation since joining the club back in January, quickly blossoming into a key part of Mikel Arteta’s side, and the boss is understood to be keen to keep Odegaard around in some capacity next season.
Arsenal plan to explore a permanent deal for the 22-year-old this summer, and according to The Times, there is confidence that Odegaard would be open to remaining with the Gunners, either on loan or permanently.
Odegaard has previously spoken of his desire to find stability in his career, having been shipped out on four loans across Europe since joining Real back in 2015, and Arsenal are keen to give him the long-term home he is looking for if the price is right.
This one could come down to the finances. The Times cite mysterious ‘reports in Spain’ for their rumoured price tag of £51m, although that information looks to have come from the infamous Don Balon, so you can pretty much ignore that completely.
Odegaard is set to enter the final two years of his contract at Madrid this summer, and given he is searching for a long-term home, it seems like a decision will have to be made now while his price remains high.
Real specifically declined to give Arsenal the option to sign Odegaard permanently as they wanted him available for the team next season if they choose to part ways with Zinedine Zidane, whose lack of trust in Odegaard is what drove him out on loan in the first place.
Those higher up in the club still see the Norwegian as a potential star of their midfield for the next decade, but if Zidane is not going to play him, they may prefer to cash in now to help fund their own blockbuster transfers this summer.
Both Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland are high on the wish list in Madrid. Each player could cost close to £150m on his own, so the chance to make some quick cash by selling Odegaard may be too good to pass up on.
If Real’s asking price is too high, Arsenal are prepared to push to bring Odegaard back on loan for a second season, after which Los Blancos may have dropped their demands.