REAL MADRID

Martin Ødegaard set to rejoin Arsenal from Real Madrid

The transfer is close to being completed. The next few hours will be decisive in determining whether the Norwegian will return to London.

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Martin Odegaard, jugador del Real Madrid.
NurPhoto NurPhoto via Getty Images

Martin Ødegaard is getting closer and closer to becoming a new Arsenal player. AS understands that Madrid and the London club have moved closer in the last few hours and all parties believe that the deal will be completed soon. The deal, if successful, is expected to be in the region of €50 million.

The 22-year-old Norwegian has given the go-ahead to the deal after feeling disappointed during this pre-season under Carlo Ancelotti, although his initial idea was always to stay at Madrid. He came back from the Premier League with the promise that he would be an important player in the squad, but at no time has he felt that way. The Italian's preferred formation (4-3-3) does not benefit him and right now Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Valverde and Ceballos are ahead of him in Carletto's plans for the upcoming season. Ødegaard has always reiterated his desire to get minutes, to feel important and he now accepts that at Madrid, at least in the short term, this is not going to be possible.

After years of loan spells, both the club and the player agreed this summer that the decision had to be final: stay or look for a move. He has proved his worth at clubs as demanding as Real Sociedad and Arsenal, and he understands that if he does not have a place at Madrid now, he will never have one.

Frustrating time for Ødegaard

The player feels very frustrated because his dream was always to succeed at the Bernabéu. It is a difficult step for him to take as maybe it is a step backwards. He has spent weeks with many doubts in his head and it hurts him to have to leave the club where he always wanted to succeed.

The pain of leaving Madrid is one side of the story, while on the other is the strong interest from Arsenal and Mikel Arteta's confidence in him. He knows that in London he will play consistently in his own position, as a midfielder in front of two midfielders. Despite last season's poor form, the Gunners are one of the Premier League's top sides and the aim is to return to the European places they always occupied over the past couple of decades.

The next few hours will be key in every sense. Of the three parties, Madrid are the clearest: they want to sell Ødegaard because he is not going to be an important player for Ancelotti and they need to make money. Arsenal want him, he is the main target, but there are still things to negotiate. Finally, the player still has some doubts about leaving Real Madrid for good, but in the last few days he has started to believe that it is the best thing for his future and if everything goes smoothly he will accept the offer.