Exclusive – Martin Odegaard is understood to be heartbroken at the prospect of leaving Real Madrid this summer, after being made available for transfer by the Spanish champions.
Real have told the Norwegian captain that he can find a new club at the end of the season after failing to establish himself in their first team under Zinedine Zidane.
Odegaard has been sent out on loan to four different clubs since joining as a teenager in January 2015, and Real are willing to let him go as part of their planned rebuild. And while Odegaard is upset that his dream of becoming a regular in the Real Madrid first team may soon end, he does have a good idea of where he would like to go next.
Sources have indicated to 90min that the 22-year-old would ideally like to move to the Premier League should he leave Madrid, having settled well into his loan deal at Arsenal since moving to the Emirates in January.
Arsenal have made no secret that they'd like to make the move permanent, though finances have always been a concern and will not have been helped by the 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Saturday night. The result leaves Arsenal in ninth in the table, trailing Everton, Tottenham and West Ham above them having played more games.
With only eight fixtures to play, Arsenal are in danger of missing out on Europe completely - as well as the financial boost that comes with it - through their league position. They may instead have to fully focus on winning the Europa League, a competition which also features Manchester United, in order to play continental football in 2021/22.
Real are holding out for a £40m fee for Odegaard and the player himself would require a £200,000-a-week salary, putting Arsenal in a difficult position to seal a transfer without the financial boost that qualifying for Europe would bring.
Contact has also been made with at least three of the Gunners' Premier League rivals about Odegaard in recent weeks, so Arsenal may not be alone in trying to tempt him at the end of the current campaign.
There's also major interest in him from outside of England, with Paris Saint-Germain and Inter monitoring the situation. Odegaard is however understood to not be keen on a move to Italy.
Odegaard is aware he has several options over where to go next and is prepared to take his time on deciding his next move.