Martin Odegaard continues to be linked with a permanent move to Arsenal.
The Norwegian will spend the remainder of the season at the Emirates Stadium, but he is scheduled to Real Madrid upon the expiry of his loan deal that began in the January transfer window.
That’s unless Arsenal and the La Liga giants reach an agreement regarding a loan extension – similar to what happened with Dani Ceballos – or a permanent transfer this summer.
Gunners manager Mikel Arteta has already stated his wish to keep the 22-year-old beyond this season and revealed when talks regarding the attacking midfielder’s future will take place.
“He is a young leader,” Arteta said as quoted by Sky Sports. “He has been here a very short time but he has adapted very quickly. He is getting more and more respect from the players and the staff and his weight on the team will increase with every week.
“We have Martin for a few months from Real Madrid and first of all we have to maximise this time with him to try to bring to the team all the qualities he has.
“At the end of the season we will sit together and decide where we can take that relationship forward.
“At the moment it doesn’t just depend on us.”
To Arteta’s point, Odegaard’s future doesn’t just depend on Arsenal as his parent club will have the final say and Defensa Central have recently reported that Real Madrid are not interested in a permanent sale.
With that said, the midfielder has named the one condition for a return to the Spanish capital – stability.
“I said many times that I’ve been looking for stability (in same club), but haven’t found it,” he told VG. “I think it’ll be important to find stability. I’m very happy at Arsenal, enjoying myself. I like it here. Now my focus is to finish the season, then we’ll see.”
Odegaard hinting at an Arsenal stay is not the first time he’s teased a permanent transfer.
The first sign of him being open to remaining in north London came last month when he refused to rule out a permanent move and as spotted by eagle-eyed fans, he changed his Instagram profile picture to an image of him in an Arsenal shirt.
What made the alteration so interesting was the fact that for at least a year the previous image was of him in a Norway shirt, even during his time at Real Madrid and Real Sociedad.
And perhaps the clearest sign that Odegaard wants to stay at Arsenal came after scoring his first Premier League goal – in the North London Derby win over Tottenham nonetheless.
The Norwegian shared a four-word message on Instagram after the game to delight Gunners fans.
“North London is red!!!!” he wrote underneath a picture of him running off to celebrate.
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This particular post has led to some Arsenal fans to believe he will become a permanent Gunner in the summer.
On Reddit, Spoonerism86 said: “Thinking of all the loanees of the last 15 years I’ve never seen anyone integrating into the team so well as Martin.”
Captain Tierney said: “He belongs here.”
MetingChristofiThierry Henry said: “Really want him to stay with us. Such a great talent and he seems to really enjoy being at Arsenal.”