Arsenal must stump up £52million to land Martin Odegaard – Real Madrid’s ‘only requirement’, according to reports.
The Norwegian has impressed for the Gunners having joined in January, with Mikel Arteta hailing his influence on the side following the departure of Mesut Ozil.
And despite reports claiming Madrid were not even considering allowing the playmaker to leave, OkDiario (via the Express) claim the Spanish giants’ ‘only requirement’ is that Arsenal meet their £52million valuation.
But unfortunately for Arteta, Odegaard’s performances in the Premier League have caught the eye of both Manchester City and Bayern Munich, who are reportedly interested in luring him from Madrid.
City and Bayern are set to be competing in the Champions League next season, while Europa League glory Arsenal’s only hope of a return to Europe’s top tier competition.
Losing out on the 22-year-old would represent a big blow to Arteta, who has consistently sung his praises.
“I think he had an incredible performance,” Arteta said after the 3-3 draw with West Ham.
“I think he was very intelligent the way he read the game, the way he affected the game and again he showed how much he wanted to win.
“When everyone was a little trembling he gave us that stability and that composure on the ball and he created chance after chance.
“He’s been showing that, I think, from week one. The way he steps on the pitch, he always wants the ball, the way he commands the pressing. He’s been really influential.
“I think we’ve all been a bit surprised because he looks really shy and humble, but when he steps on that pitch he’s a real character and he loves to play football.”
GRASSROOTS IS BACK: FC Not Alone are offering football to all to help improve mental health
And speaking on his Wrighty’s House Podcast, Ian Wright suggested that Mikel Arteta will be thinking that Odegaard “is the guy” Arsenal need:
“Watching Odegaard play for Arsenal, I’m so happy and I’m so sad.
“You’re thinking that’s the quality and composure Arsenal need. Arteta must be on the sideline thinking, ‘oh my god, this is what I need, this is the guy’.
“His contract runs out in 2023 with Madrid, we’re going through a spell where there’s not a lot of money about, Madrid need money, if Zidane stays there can you see him putting Odegaard in his team?
“You’re thinking to yourself if he carries on playing like he is, because we’re looking at [Luka] Modric and [Toni] Kroos and they’re going to have to get replaced by someone at some stage now.
“Whether that’s Odegaard or they might sell Odegaard to finance getting somebody else.
“When you look at him, this is serious business with Odegaard, this is a player we need, and I don’t know how they’re going to do that.
“For me, I think £45million to £50million, even though we’re talking about someone who’s been on loan to Holland, Spain and now here, he’s played a handful of games but he looks so impressive.
“You have to pray, the Arsenal fanbase have to put it out into the ether, the energy and the good vibes, to make it happen because he is needed.”