Arsenal FC

Arsenal edge closer to signing Martin Odegaard on loan

By Harry Symeou
Jan 22, 2021, 11:15 AM GMT
Martin Odegaard looks set to leave Real Madrid on loan this month with Arsenal and Real Sociedad among the favourites to land the 22-year-old
Martin Odegaard looks set to leave Real Madrid on loan this month with Arsenal and Real Sociedad among the favourites to land the 22-year-old | Soccrates Images/Getty Images
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Arsenal look set to sign Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid this January, with a deal to bring the midfielder to the Emirates Stadium said to be '90% done'.

Odegaard is keen to leave Real Madrid after making a measly nine appearances this season, and only one La Liga start since September. As such he is eyeing a move away from the club in search of first-team football, with Arsenal said to be the frontrunners for his signature.

The report that Odegaard is all but set to join the Gunners comes from David Ornstein, who has said the deal is around '90% done' and 'looking good'. He did say however, that things have yet to progress to the stage where the player will need to travel to London as there are a number of details still to be 'worked through'.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has also taken to social media to report that the player has chosen Arsenal after a personal conversation with Mikel Arteta, and the deal is expected to be completed in the 'coming hours'.

Since the transfer window opened earlier this month, there has been no shortage of creative midfield players linked with a move to Arsenal but according to Ornstein, Romano and reports in Spain, Mikel Arteta's side are closing in on Real Madrid's Martin Odegaard.

The Gunners have also been linked with Emiliano Buendia and there has been talk of them reigniting their interest in Lyon's Houssem Aouar, however paying the asking prices of Norwich City and Lyon respectively would certainly be a stretch for a club who have recently taken a loan from the Bank of England in order to cope with the financial impacts of the pandemic.

That's where Odegaard comes in, his lack of game time this season and subsequent desire to go out on loan, along with Arsenal's clear need to bring in another creative player means this could be a winner for everybody - the perfect fit.

The Norwegian spent last season on loan in San Sebastian with Real Sociedad, making a total of 36 appearances, scoring seven goals and contributing nine assists.

Although the Basque club's desire was to strike another deal with Los Blancos that would see him rejoin them for the remainder of the campaign and aid their push for Champions League qualification, the latest reports from Spain claim the La Liga champions would prefer to see him join Arsenal.

El Diario Vasco had already reported Odegaard is headed for north London where he will spend the remainder of the season on loan - backing up the reports from both Ornstein and Romano. Despite reports the Norwegian had been pushing for a return to La Real, Arsenal's offer was said to have 'tempted' the player and taking into consideration all of the above, it appears he has succumbed to that temptation.

As highlighted by Guillem Balague on Twitter, the two La Liga clubs could end up competing with one another for a UEFA Champions League spot come the end of the season and so allowing the talented midfield player to move domestically could prove counter-productive for Florentino Perez.

There have been suggestions floating around social media, although unverified at this stage, that Arsenal's willingness to pay the player's full salary until the loan ends also scored them points with Odegaard's parent club - something Real Sociedad may not have been willing or able to do.

Signed by Real Madrid in 2015 as a 16-year-old, it's worth noting the player visited Arsenal's training ground prior to signing for the Spanish giants. The Gunners were among a number of club's courting the player whom at the time, was regarded as one of European football's rising stars.

The Norwegian international, renowned for his ability to dribble, play key passes, maintain possession and deliver high-quality set-pieces would provide Mikel Arteta with a ready-made option in the number ten role as the Gunners look to close the gap on the European places.

Odegaard's arrival could give Arsenal the push they need to drag themselves back into the mix for a top four finish
Odegaard's arrival could give Arsenal the push they need to drag themselves back into the mix for a top four finish | OSCAR DEL POZO/Getty Images

Given the short-term nature of the deal, he is also unlikely to stunt the long-term development of Emile Smith Rowe.

With the story around Odegaard's prospective move to the Gunners gathering pace, it seems Arsenal are closing in on their man.

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