Pep Guardiola reportedly wanted to bring Martin Odegaard to Bayern Munich as a teenager and the Spaniard believed he could make the attacking midfielder the best player in the world. That’s according to Norwegian journalist Jan Age Fjortoft, who has shed light on the ordeal several years on.
Odegaard look set to leave Real Madrid this month after growing frustrated with his lack of game time in the Spanish capital.
He arrived at the club from Stromsgodset in 2015 and spent time with Real Madrid Castilla learning his trade in Spain.
Following loan spells in Holland with Heerenveen and Vitesse, Odegaard finally got his break in La Liga with Real Sociedad.
Last season, he was considered one of the best midfield talents in the division and now the club are keen to bring him back to the Basque Country.
Speaking on the Here We Go podcast with Fabrizio Romano, he claims Guardiola was determined to bring him to Bayern and the Manchester City boss is alleged to have said: “You have to bring that boy to Munich, you have to bring him to Munich! I will make him the best player in the world.”
Fjortoft added on the discussions that took place: “Later, when we returned, I, as a coach of the Norwegian national team, invited Martin, his father and the national team coach to my home.
“At that time I wrote down on a piece of paper which four clubs I thought at that time were closest to signing Odegaard. Liverpool, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
“As you know, Liverpool was his favourite club, his childhood club.
“In my opinion, I still think the reason he ended up at Real Madrid was quite simple. Firstly, Real Madrid had a second team, the other three clubs didn’t.
“The coach of the second team was Zinedine Zidane. He’s not a bad player, he’s not a bad coach.
“Michael Reschke, who is now at Schalke, was responsible for the recruitment of Munich at the time.
“I met him after Martin chose to go to Real Madrid and he told me: ‘If I had known that the second team would be crucial, I would have built a second team to achieve that’.”