Mikel Arteta reportedly phoned Martin Odegaard to give the Real Madrid midfielder assurances over the amount of playing time he will get at Arsenal.
Arsenal and Real Madrid have agreed a deal that will see Martin Odegaard play for Arsenal for the remainder of the season. Arsenal will pay a fee of around £2m for the pleasure.
Odeagaard, who is moving because he is not getting minutes in Spain obviously wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to London to sit on a slightly colder bench, so Mikel Arteta phoned him.
“It was Arsenal manager Arteta who moved quickly to secure the player,” AS write. “He telephoned him directly to assure him that he will have minutes in his project, between now and the end of the season, and that was decisive so that the Norwegian player did not even consider returning to Real Sociedad, where he showed his best version in the first half of the past season.
“In addition, Real Madrid is better off the offer from Arsenal, which is worth a simple transfer up to (for which it will pay two million) and also does not face Madrid in any competition.”
This isn’t all that unusual. Most managers will speak to a player before he signs to give an idea of their plans to them. Shocking, huh?
Odegaard is expected in London for his Arsenal medical within the next 12-36 hours but it would seem unlikely that any deal will be completed in time for him to play against Southampton on Tuesday evening.
Over the weekend, Real Sociedad’s coach spoke about his side’s interest in the player and how Odegaard going to them was never an option. He also confirmed that Arteta had phoned the 22-year-old, although he seemed to be of the opinion that Odegaard did want to go to Real Sociedad but Real Madrid wouldn’t allow him.
“When Mikel Arteta called, he changed his mind,” said Imanol Alguacil during a press conference.
“We would have liked to see him come back and I think he was happy with it at first. But in the end it was never a serious option.”