Arsenal’s hopes of keeping Martin Odegaard beyond this summer hang in the balance amid Zinedine Zidane’s big decision.
According to numerous reports, including the Guardian, Zidane has already decided to walk away from Real Madrid, where he has been since taking over for the second time in 2019.
Zidane failed to win any silverware this season having taken the La Liga title race to the last day before falling short, but he does have plenty in the credit in the bank having made history with three Champions League titles.
Despite that, it seems Zidane has already decided to walk away, telling his players he will not be the manager of Real Madrid next season.
Odegaard joined the Gunners on a loan deal late in January and has impressed since, despite a disappointing season for Arsenal, who missed out on European football and lost in the Europa League semi-final to eventual winners Villarreal.
The problem is that Real Madrid are said to see Odegaard as a ‘fundamental piece’ of their future, though with financial issues, some have suggested Odegaard could be sold to raise money.
Alternatively, Arsenal could seek to get the Norwegian back on loan, as they did with Dani Ceballos ahead of this season, and there may be some life in that hope after Luka Modric penned a new contract at Real Madrid.
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Though, much will now depend on what happens at the Santiago Bernabeu if Zidane does indeed walk away as expected, with the next manager likely to decide on Odegaard’s future.
The favourite for the job is former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, while Los Blancos legend Raul is also high on the list of bookmakers’ odds.
Time will tell what that means for Arsenal and their Odegaard bid, but on the face of it, it’s bad news with the Norwegian likely to be offered a fresh start in the Spanish capital over the summer.
Odegaard did not always see eye-to-eye with Zidane over playing time, and the Frenchman’s departure was always likely to be bad news as far as the Gunners are concerned.