Arsenal may have been dealt their biggest blow yet in their bid to land Martin Odegaard on a permanent deal.
The Gunners have been impressed with what they have seen from the Real Madrid loanee since his arrival in January and he is said to be top of the club’s summer wishlist.
But there’s a big problem in that Real Madrid reportedly see Odegaard as a ‘fundamental piece’ of their future and they are unlikely to budge with the midfielder having a release clause of just over £300million.
That could make it difficult for Arsenal to get their man, and they have now been dealt a fresh blow in the form of Zinedine Zidane, who is said to be considering his future.
There were already question marks over whether Zidane would continue beyond this season on the part of the Real Madrid board, but it is now reported by TeleMadrid, the Frenchman himself is now considering leaving.
Zidane’s contract runs until 2022, but it’s reported he is considering calling it a day after this season, which has picked up of late.
Los Blancos are now back in the La Liga title race ahead of their Clasico clash with Barcelona, and they are also in with a shot of winning the Champions League, 3-1 up against Liverpool ahead of their quarter-finals second leg.
Zidane is in his second spell as Real Madrid boss, and across both spells, he has won two La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies.
Whether Zidane stays matters for Odegaard because the two don’t appear to see eye-to-eye.
Odegaard thought he would get first-team opportunities this season at Real Madrid after impressing for Real Sociedad last season, but he saw little action, leading to a loan request.
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Zidane asked the midfielder to stay and fight for his place, but Odegaard decided he wanted to play more and spend the second half of the season on loan at Arsenal.
It has been reported that Zidane’s presence could have an impact on whether Odegaard returns to Real Madrid ahead of next season, and the fact the French boss could now walk away will serve as bad news for Arsenal.
Should Zidane leave, Odegaard, who still ‘dreams’ of playing for Los Blancos, by his own admission, could be lured back by the promise of a fresh start under a new manager.