Transfer update: Arsenal 'plan' player-plus-cash Maddison move
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Arsenal are gearing up to submit a formal bid for Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard, but any final decision on his future will rest with the Spanish giants and the player himself, according to reports. Odegaard has been heavily linked with a return to north London ahead of the new campaign and is understood to be a priority target for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners have already signed Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares and Ben White since the beginning of the summer transfer window.
However, it seems as though Arteta will also push for the addition of a creative midfielder before this month’s deadline.
Arsenal are crying out for at least one new playmaker, with Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock currently representing the club’s only natural options in the No 10 role.
Odegaard excelled while on loan at the Emirates Stadium during the second half of last season and has since been tipped to return on a permanent basis.
Real Madrid are believed to be mulling over his future in the Spanish capital, while the player himself is said to be weighing up the idea of a move away.
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Arsenal remain interested in bringing Odegaard back to the Premier League, but any successful approach will rely on the co-operation of his current employers, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
It is said that the Gunners will submit a formal bid for the 22-year-old if he decides to seek a new challenge and Madrid opt to cash in.
A permanent switch is believed to be among the options on the table, while another loan move could also be a possibility for the north London club, who have already spent £73m on new players this summer.
Odegaard is said to be Arsenal’s main target ahead of Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, who has also been linked with the 13-time English champions in recent months.
The latter is said to be on Arteta’s radar but whether or not the Foxes would be prepared to let him leave remains to be seen.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has already underlined his desire to retain his best players this summer as the east Midlands club prepare for a renewed assault on the Premier League’s upper reaches.
“In conversations with the club, we don’t have to sell,” Rodgers told reporters earlier this month when quizzed on the speculation.
“That’s something that’s been made clear. The players want to stay. It’s a really exciting time at the club.
“There’s lots of gossip and speculation around but I’m loving working with the guys here, they love being here, and we certainly have no need to sell.
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“So I would suspect we’re looking to keep our best players.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United legend Roy Keane recently warned Arsenal that Maddison would be downgrading in the event of a move to the Gunners this summer.
“Arsenal are a huge club, but at this moment in time I don’t think it’s a step up for him to leave Leicester, where they are, to go to Arsenal,” Keane told ITV Sport on Saturday.
“Probably backwards, at this moment in time. Arsenal are a huge club, but where Leicester are at the moment, trying to challenge for Champions League.
“They’re winning, they won a trophy last year, Arsenal are short.”
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