Arsenal: Arteta lauds 'intelligent' Odegaard
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Arsenal have been dealt a huge blow in their hopes of keeping Martin Odegaard beyond this season, according to reports coming out of Spain. Odegaard has impressed for the Gunners since joining on loan from Real Madrid in January. The Norwegian’s performances have led the speculation Arsenal want to tie down the 22-year-old on a longer-term deal.
Odegaard struggled for game time under Zinedine Zidane in the first half of this season.
He appeared just nine times for Los Blancos, with his relationship with Zidane said to be strained.
Odegaard has spoken glowingly about Arsenal and their manager Mikel Arteta since his arrival three months ago.
However, it appears his stay in north London will be a short one.
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Spanish outlet Marca say Odegaard is one of four young players who are ‘untouchable’ in the Real squad.
Vinicius Junior, Federico Valverde and Rodrygo Goes make up the quartet of players who will not be sold at any price.
The report notes Odegaard’s difficult relationship with Zidane but makes it clear Real chiefs do not want to sell the player.
The news comes as a blow to Arteta as Odegaard was clearly the No 1 target in the No 10 position.
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Norwich City’s Emiliano Buendia and RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku are two other attacking midfielders who have been with a move to the Emirates.
Speaking while on international duty last month, Odegaard was full of praise for Arteta and insisted a decision had yet to be made over his future.
“Very good. [Arteta] is incredible,” Odegaard told Norwegian outlet VG.
“I have a lot to learn from him. I just need to ‘sharpen my ears’ and pay attention. He is fantastic.
“I haven’t thought about what’ll happen in summer.
“Deal with Arsenal is until the end of the season. We’ll see what happens this summer.
“I’ve said things before that I still stand by: ‘Stability’ and ‘development’ are key words.”
Arsenal have another player on loan from Real in Dani Ceballos, and Arteta says a decision will be made over both midfielders at the end of the season.
“In both cases, I am really happy with both of them,” Arteta said this week.
“It’s a decision that has to be decided at the end of the season because in this case it is the same club involved with both of them, and I will have these conversations.
“I enjoy having Martin with us in the team. He was very proud [to be named Norway captain].
“I am very proud for him to achieve that because I think he merits his character and what he’s doing here. Really happy for him.”
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