Transfer news: Who could be on the move this summer?
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Newly-appointed Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is prepared to give Martin Odegaard the opportunity to establish himself as a member of the side next season, suggesting that any attempt by Arsenal to bring him to the Emirates Stadium this summer could be in vain, according to reports. The 22-year-old’s future has looked uncertain for a number of months after growing tired of life as a bit-part player in the Spanish capital.
He was shipped out to Arsenal on a temporary basis in the January transfer window and left a big impression on Gunners boss Mikel Arteta during his short stay in London.
Odegaard chipped in with one goal and two assists in the Premier League, turning plenty of heads with a number of highly impressive performances.
The Norwegian playmaker’s arrival successfully addressed the dire lack of creativity that plagued Arsenal’s ranks during the first half of the campaign, but the short-term nature of his stay has left the club on the hunt for his replacement.
Arteta and club director Edu are believed to be keen on securing Odegaard’s services in the coming months, but it seems as though Carlo Ancelotti’s return to Real may have poured cold water on their hopes of striking a deal.
The recently departed Everton boss is a keen admirer of the midfielder and will trust him to provide sufficient cover next season, according to Defensa Central.
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The report claims that Ancelotti has already spoken to Odegaard about staying at the Bernabeu into the new campaign and beyond, suggesting that Arsenal could struggle to tempt the 13-time European champions into parting ways with their man this summer
Much of the speculation regarding a permanent move to north London stemmed from the player’s relationship with Zinedine Zidane, who was reluctant to provide him with many first-team opportunities during his time in charge.
But with the Frenchman long gone and Ancelotti seemingly eager to let Odegaard prove his worth, it remains to be seen whether the latter can enjoy a new lease of life under the Italian’s guidance.
The man himself has already revealed that he is looking forward to working with Ancelotti once again, which begs the question of whether any talk of a summer move to Arsenal may have been slightly premature.
“It is a coach I know and with whom I had a good relationship when he was last there,” Odegaard told TV2 earlier this week.
“In that sense, it is positive. But beyond that, one day has passed, so I do not know too much about what he thinks about things.”
When asked if Ancelotti can be a success in his second spell at Madrid, the Norway international replied: “Yes, I absolutely believe in that.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal icon Ian Wright previously urged his former employers to go all out in order to secure Odegaard’s signature, highlighting the effect that his presence in the middle of the park had on the club’s fortunes.
The Gunners only lost five Premier League matches after the turn of the year, with the Real loanee’s ability to pull the strings helping to keep Arteta’s side ticking.
“We’re looking at [Luka] Modric and [Toni] Kroos and they’re going to have to get replaced by someone at some stage now,” Wright told the Wrighty’s House Podcast in March.
“Whether that’s Odegaard or they might sell Odegaard to finance getting somebody else. When you look at him, this is serious business with Odegaard, this is a player we need, and I don’t know how they’re going to do that.
“For me, I think £45million to £50m, even though we’re talking about someone who’s been on loan to Holland, Spain and now here, he’s played a handful of games but he looks so impressive.
“You have to pray, the Arsenal fan base have to put it out into the ether, the energy and the good vibes, to make it happen because he is needed.”
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