Martin Odegaard has confirmed that he will be spending the 2021/22 season at Real Madrid.
The Norweigian captain, who was on loan at Arsenal for the second half of the 2020/21 campaign, was speaking to Norweigian TV, and said that the club, now under Carlo Ancelotti’s leadership, have “made it clear” that they want him back.
Martin Ødegaard confirms to TV 2 Norway that he will play for Real Madrid the coming season. He says they have made it clear that they want him back. He will start pre-season in one and a half week.
— Arilas Ould-Saada (@arilasos) June 23, 2021
This will come as a hefty blow to Arsenal’s transfer plans, with Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar thought to have been keen on attempting to make a move for Odegaard on a permanent deal this summer.
Odegaard and Ryan look like they’ll be hard to do now, but Arsenal are still keen on both of them.
Odegaard issue is Ancelotti now being at Madrid changes his situation, while it’s thought Ryan might want first-team football. No Europe also limits game time he’d get.
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) June 17, 2021
However, there had been growing resignation that Odegaard would not rejoin the club, which has seen a potential move for Leicester City’s James Maddison do the rounds in news outlets.
James Maddison’s camp do not close the door on the idea of him leaving Leicester City despite signing a new contract last summer. His representatives have notified Arsenal that the player is open to a new challenge if a suitable offer arrives this summer. [@TheAFCBeII] #afc pic.twitter.com/CvF6zRKbk3
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) June 20, 2021
It seems somewhat far-fetched given that Arsenal have neither the financial muscle or the allure of European football to entice the playmaker to the Emirates, however according to respected Arsenal journalist James Benge, the 24-year-old is “high on their list” of options now that Odegaard’s future has been revealed.
Maddison is high on the list and there are other options at a lower price
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) June 23, 2021
Who the “other options” that Benge mentions are as of yet unknown, but it seems as though Arsenal’s focus has now switched to the Premier League proven Maddison.
We will have to wait and see how it all unfolds.