The Norwegian talent is high on the Gunners’ list of targets ahead of this summer with Odegaard having impressed on loan since arriving in January.
Whether Real Madrid will allow him to leave is another question, but Arsenal’s first job will be to convince the 22-year-old to stay in north London and give up his ‘dream’ of becoming a regular at Santiago Bernabeu.
And to do that, keeping current boss Mikel Arteta will be pivotal, according to former defender Nigel Winterburn, who believes Odegaard would prefer to play for the under-pressure Spaniard.
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“Arsenal would be in prime position,” Winterburn told Goal. “He’s been here [and] he knows what the club is like.
“He probably wants assurances that Arteta is going to be in charge because he wouldn’t want to sign for a different manager.
“He’s usually in the team and he’s shown enough. He’s a link up player, he’s very neat and tidy on the ball and we need creative players in around that area.
“I would think there will be other clubs looking at him as well, if he becomes available.”
Unfortunately for Arsenal, convincing Odegaard is only half of the battle.
Real Madrid see Odegaard as a ‘fundamental piece’ of their future, and with Zinedine Zidane’s future appearing to be up in the air, the midfielder’s first-team opportunities in the Spanish capital could be about to get a significant boost.
Zidane is a fan of Odegaard’s, but the French boss barely played him in the early stages of the season, leading to the loan request that gave Arsenal their opportunity to bring Odegaard in on a temporary basis.