Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly highly keen on reuniting with former Gunners loanee Martin Odegaard as James Maddison talks hit an impasse.
Odegaard, 22, has reemerged as a serious transfer target for Edu as no breakthrough in the deadlock to bring the ex-Coventry attacking midfielder looks likely at this current moment.
football.london understands that talks between Arsenal and Leicester are progressing at a “slow” rate, and the Gunners are yet to reach the Foxes’ £60million valuation, with the club also keen to avoid discussions on potential player-plus-cash deals.
Edu has so far tried to offer four separate fringe players to lower the valuation, but that has been to no avail as the Foxes demand cash only.
The deadlock in this deal has reignited talks that the Norwegian International could be returning back to the Emirates Stadium for a second stint despite reported competition from Serie A side AC Milan.
Real Madrid sent Odegaard on loan to Arsenal in the second half of last season, with the midfielder providing three-goal contributions in a total of 14 Premier League games.
His farewell message illustrated at the time what most people thought would be a complete ending to his north London stay, but this may not be the case as Odegaard himself seems set on wanting to leave the Santiago Bernabeu-based club.
“@Arsenal, Thank you so much for these 6 months,” he wrote on Instagram after his loan spell ended.
“My time with the Arsenal family will always hold a special place in my heart.
“I wanna thank everyone in and around the club for the way you made me feel like a part of the family since the first day.
“Special thanks to the fans, even without you guys at the stadium for the majority of the season, I felt you with me at all times.
“A huge thank you to the boss and his staff for everything I’ve learned during my stay. Thank you also to all my teammates for such a great time on and off the pitch.
“Will miss you all. Thank you, gunners family. Always in my heart.”
Spanish outlet AS (via SportWitness) report that Erling Haaland’s International teammate hasn’t had a good pre-season so far in Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid side and as a result has fallen behind former Arsenal target Isco in the pecking order.
Odegaard was only given 30 minutes in a friendly against AC Milan, and he doesn’t look close to fulfilling his desire “to be important”.
This is where a return to Arsenal comes in, and it’s understood that if the player and Real Madrid feel an exit is the best way forward, Arteta “will do everything possible” to sign the 22-year-old on a permanent basis
One major problem with the Gunners turning their attentions to Odegaard instead of Maddison is that the transfer operation could only cost only £18million less than what the fee for the latter would demand.
football.london understands that the £42million is what the Madrid-based club are demanding to let the 22-year-old depart the Santiago Bernabeu on a permanent deal.
Whether the Arsenal board can negotiate this asking price down remains to be seen, but the manager’s intentions of bringing him back to the club are there for everyone to see.
The Spaniard labelled the attacking midfielder a “very intelligent” player last season in the 3-0 away win against London rivals West Ham United.
The transfer window is in full swing and things are beginning to ramp up with Edu and Mikel Arteta’s dealings at the Emirates.
By signing up to our newsletter here, you’ll be kept up to date on the latest news and rumours as they break, all in one place. You’ll also receive exclusive insight and articles from club writers Chris Wheatley and Kaya Kaynak, plus a daily transfer round-up of all the day’s rumours and news, all for free!
We also want to hear from you. Create an account here in just a few moments, so you can have your say on all things Arsenal, join the debate and take part in exclusive Q&As as well.
“I think he had an incredible performance,” Arteta said. “I think he was very intelligent the way he read the game, the way he affected the game and again he showed how much he wanted to win.
“When everyone was a little trembling he gave us that stability and that composure on the ball and he created chance after chance. He’s been showing that, I think, from week one. The way he steps on the pitch, he always wants the ball, the way he commands the pressing. He’s been really influential.
“I think we’ve all been a bit surprised because he looks really shy and humble, but when he steps on that pitch he’s a real character and he loves to play football.”