Arsenal have agreed financial terms with Real Madrid for the loan signing of midfielder Martin Odegaard, according to reports. The 22-year-old emerged as a target for the Gunners earlier this week, and now looks set to be confirmed as the club’s latest addition.
Transfer chief Edu had previously revealed his intention to sign a creative midfielder this month, telling fans in November that he felt the Gunners were sorely lacking the influence of an effective playmaker in the middle of the park.
The signing of Odegaard, who has been frustrated with a lack of first-team action in the Spanish capital, should fit the bill nicely and provide Mikel Arteta with additional options in attack.
Arsenal have already been active in this month’s transfer window, acting quickly to land young defender Omar Rekik from Hertha Berlin before sealing a loan move for Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Mat Ryan earlier this week.
And with next Sunday’s deadline rapidly approaching, it seems as if their third signing is imminent.
The Gunners and Real have agreed on a £1.8million loan fee for Odegaard, according to The Times, with a medical expected on Monday.
The report claims that Arsenal will also pay the Norwegian’s entire £38,000 per week salary during his stay in north London, meaning he will cost £2.5m overall.
The deal does not include an option to buy, with Real keen to keep hold of their man for now amid speculation over the future of under-fire boss Zinedine Zidane.
It is said that Odegaard rejected temporary moves to Dutch heavyweights Ajax and former side Real Sociedad in order to sign for Arsenal, with Arteta reportedly playing a huge role in his decision.
The Gunners boss personally telephoned the midfielder with the hope of tempting him to England, a move that appears to have paid off.
Odegaard exploded onto the scene in 2014 after becoming the youngest goalscorer in the history of Norway’s top flight with Stromsgodset.
His rise to prominence was followed by a £2.5m move to Real at just 16 years of age.
He could make his debut for Arsenal against Premier League high-flyers Southampton on Tuesday if his medical goes through without a hitch.
Club legend Martin Keown revealed earlier this week that he is excited to see Odegaard in action, but suggested that it could spell the end for fellow Real loanee Dani Ceballos, who could be forced out of the side upon the Norwegian’s arrival.
“He [Odegaard] brings that quality into the midfield, it’s an area Arsenal need to strengthen,” Keown told talkSPORT.
“Does that mean Ceballos will go? He’s on loan as well. Is he going to get football? Real Madrid may be concerned, he hasn’t played that much so far.”