Arsenal are closing in on a £40m deal for Martin Odegaard after Real Madrid slapped him on the transfer list.
Odegaard returned to Madrid from his loan spell with the Gunners last season determined to make it in the Spanish capital.
But he does not feature in manager Carlo Ancelotti’s plans and has been forced into a rethink after being left out of the squad to start the season.
Odegaard has been Arsenal’s top target for the No 10 position all summer and the Gunners are now confident a deal can be done.
Real want around £42m for the Norway star, but it is understood a bid of around £34m plus bonuses could get the transfer over the line.
Odegaard had a goal and two assists in 14 games in the Premier League for Arsenal during his loan spell last season.
The Gunners also explored the possibility of bringing in James Maddison from Leicester.
But the Foxes are refusing to do business and Odegaard is seen a cheaper alternative who already fits the system and knows the Arsenal players.
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A deal for the 22-year-old could now be wrapped up quickly with all parties expecting it to go through once a fee is agreed.
Speaking on Thursday ahead of the club's Premier League opener against Brentford, boss Mikel Arteta said that he was pleased with his business so far, but the Gunners weren't done yet.
"When on this first period of the transfer window I think we’ve done a few things that we wanted to do. There is still window to go so I'm sure things will happen either way," Arteta said.
Before adding: There’s still a window to go so I’m sure things will happen either way [in and out]."
Asked if time was running out to do business, he replied: "It is but things take time. There are all the times different things and different parties needed to get things done.
" For sure we are trying to do what we have. Important in that is to make sure that the squad is healthy and we have that stability within the squad which is certainly something that we missed last year up till December.
"So that is a support as well."
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