Martin Odegaard is on the verge of becoming an Arsenal player as they close in on an agreement with Real Madrid, believed to be worth around €50m

Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring their side s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday March 14, 2021. Copyright: Nick Potts
Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring their side s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday March 14, 2021. Copyright: Nick Potts

Mikel Arteta’s number one choice to fill the attacking midfielder slot left vacant at the club by Martin Odegaard’s return to Real Madrid is Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid.

Arsenal have been linked with a host of attacking midfielders in this window but the one that Arteta wants more than any other is Martin Odegaard.

The Norwegian seemed set for a starring role at Real Madrid, according to the initial noises that were made when he returned to meet Carlo Ancelotti after the former Everton manager was re-installed as the Real Madrid boss.

Since then, however, it has felt like every day has brought a different story about Odegaard’s future, which is far from settled.

For Real Madrid’s part, they would like €50m for a transfer, and there’s also a suggestion they’d want a buy-back clause in the deal. They have a history with that kind of deal, selling Spurs Sergio Reguilon for around £28m with a buy-back clause of around £15m more than that.

La Liga kicks off this weekend and I thought it would be worth noting where Odegaard started Real Madrid’s game at Deportivo Alaves on Saturday (9pm UK kick-off). Then it was announced he wasn’t even in the squad for the game as rumours that he was off to Arsenal started to really heat up.

The 22-year-old wants a starting role and, clearly not getting that, he seems to have started pushing for a move, something The Athletic reported Arsenal needed him to do.

They also added that if Odegaard “is unconvinced of his place in the plans, he may become available again — and Arsenal are clear that they are prepared to do what is necessary to sign him.”

That now seems to be the case. A report from AS claims that the player has given the go-ahead for a move to Arsenal, realising that it is best for his future.

That last one linked to an article that started, “Odegaard and Arsenal, very hot.

“The transfer is close to being closed, AS learned. The next few hours will be final to see if the Norwegian will return to London.”

The article has since been moved and given a different headline.

At the time of writing, Real Madrid have not yet even given Martin Odegaard a number for the new season. At first, with Dani Ceballos also still awaiting his, I thought it was a loan issue, but Gareth Bale has been given the 18 for his return from his loan with Tottenham.

The 21 that Odegaard wore before he joined Arsenal on loan has been given to Rodrygo.