Arsenal and Real Madrid have reportedly agreed to talk about Martin Odegaard at the end of the season. However, for Edu, that’s a mistake. The Gunners supremo would be better off striking a deal now to avoid paying more at a later date, especially with links to Chelsea and Liverpool starting to arise.
Arsenal took a gamble in January.
With Mesut Ozil closing in on a move to Fenerbahce, the Gunners decided to roll the dice and bring Odegaard to the capital.
The Norway international had endured a difficult first half of the season at Real Madrid, struggling for action under Zinedine Zidane.
But, in the short time since his move to Arsenal, he’s lit up the Emirates Stadium with some impressive performances.
It’s no wonder the Gunners want to sign Odegaard permanently, convinced he can play a starring role in their future under Mikel Arteta.
And Goal claim Arsenal and Real Madrid have agreed to sit down for transfer talks at the end of the campaign to discuss a permanent deal for the 22-year-old.
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However, that’s a mistake.
While Arsenal and Odegaard are still learning plenty about each other, the 22-year-old’s fine displays in the capital means he’s already deserving of a permanent deal.
And, in waiting until the end of the campaign, the Gunners risk other clubs being interested.
In January, only Real Sociedad represented an obstacle. But Mikel Arteta’s side, being the global superpower they are, were able to persuade the Norwegian into moving to the Emirates Stadium instead.
Arsenal may find themselves facing stiff competition from stronger teams, however.
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Chelsea have emerged as potential suitors for Odegaard, especially with Kai Havertz struggling to settle at Stamford Bridge following his summer move from Bayer Leverkusen.
And Liverpool are also in the mix, with Jurgen Klopp yet to sign a playmaker since Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona in the January transfer window of 2018.
Chelsea are expected to be in the Champions League next term.
And they’ve won the Premier League title five times since Arsenal last scooped the prize, which makes them an attractive proposition.
Liverpool may find themselves in the Europa League next term, with the Reds currently sitting seventh in the Premier League table.
Yet the chance to play under Jurgen Klopp could be too good to turn down.
Furthermore, it’s previously been reported that Liverpool are Odegaard’s ‘dream club’ – meaning Arsenal may find themselves powerless to prevent their rivals from swooping in.
Then there’s Real Madrid’s asking price.
Upon letting the player move to the Emirates in January, the La Liga giants valued Odegaard at £30million. Relatively affordable, even in today’s market.
But there are now noises emerging from Spain that they could charge £50m instead.
As a result, Arsenal would be better off swooping now. Get Odegaard for cheap, stop him from going elsewhere and prevent themselves from having to break the bank – or miss out entirely.
So Edu, in agreeing to wait until the end of the campaign, seems to be making a mistake.
What bodes well for Arsenal is Odegaard’s clear happiness with life at the club, with the Norwegian hailing Arteta as ‘fantastic’.
“Very good,” Odegaard said when asked how life at Arsenal was under the Spaniard.
“He is incredible. I have a lot to learn from him. I just need to ‘sharpen my ears’ and pay attention. He is fantastic.”
He then added: “I haven’t thought about what’ll happen in summer.
“Deal with Arsenal is until the end of the season. We’ll see what happens this summer. I’ve said things before that I still stand by: ‘Stability’ and ‘development’ are key words.”