Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid after agreeing a deal with the Spanish giants.
Odegaard has been one of the Gunners’ top targets throughout the summer transfer window after he impressed on loan with Mikel Arteta’s side last season.
Their chances of signing the 22-year-old seemed to have taken a blow when Carlo Ancelotti took over from Zinedine Zidane as Real boss and included Odegaard in his pre-season preparations.
But the Norwegian has now been frozen out before being made available for transfer by the former Everton manager, allowing Arsenal to swoop for his services.
Since discovering his availability, Arsenal have moved quickly to agree a transfer fee with Real of £30million (€35m), which could rise to £34m (€40m) with bonuses.
Odegaard travelled to London on Wednesday for his medical and will sign a four-year deal with Arsenal having an option to extend for a fifth year.
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If he secures a visa quickly and is registered by midday on Friday, Odegaard could even be available for Sunday’s Premier League game against Chelsea asSky Sportsreport that, because he is fully vaccinated against Covid, he will not have to quarantine.
While Real have been happy to sell Odegaard, they have inserted a clause which opens up the possibility of a return to Madrid for the midfielder.
According to Spanish outletOnda Cero, while Real have not included a buyback option, they have included a first-refusal clause which would allow them to re-sign the midfielder if Arsenal accept a bid from a rival club in the future.
Real did the same thing with Achraf Hakimi when they sold him to Inter Milan last year.
The Morocco international was sold on to Paris Saint-Germain this summer but Real’s clause meant they had the opportunity to match the French club’s £51.3m (€60m) bid.
Odegaard made 20 appearances for Arsenal last season after joining on loan in January.
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He scored just two goals and registered one assist, but his positive approach made a real difference to Arteta’s side.
Odegaard was always Arsenal’s first choice in their search for an attacking midfielder this summer, but Real’s initial reluctance to sell meant the exploration of other options.
Leicester City’s James Maddison emerged as a possibility, but the club’s asking price of £60m ultimately prevented the interest from going any further.
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