• Transfers

Arteta gives Odegaard transfer verdict for Arsenal

Martin Odegaard, Arsenal
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After what could’ve been Martin Odegaard’s final game for Arsenal on Sunday, Mikel Arteta opened up on his hopes for another deal.

Mikel Arteta hopes Martin Odegaard views Arsenal as a good career move, but he accepts any transfer decision is out of his hands.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed an impressive spell on loan. He joined Arsenal in January from Real Madrid and quickly settled in, making some key contributions in his short time. His form has sparked talk of a second loan deal or perhaps even a permanent transfer.

But while happy in north London, Odegaard plans to hold talks with parent club Real Madrid to discover their plans for him.

Nonetheless, the Norwegian ensured a solid end to the season by assisting Nicolas Pepe’s second goal in Sunday’s 2-0 over Brighton. It was his second assist in as many matches. He was even the last player to leave the pitch in what could’ve been his final appearance for the club.

“We have a very clear and strong opinion on what we would like to do,” said Arteta about Odegaard’s future in a post-match conference on Sunday.

“He’s not our player. We’ll have discussions in the next few weeks. But first of all, we need to respect that he’s a Real Madrid player. We’ll have those communications.

“We’ve tried to make everything that we could to get Martin performing for the team, which I think he’s done, and he has adapted really well to our way of playing and to our football club. Hopefully, we have given him hope and the feeling that this could be a good place for him.”

Asked if he’s confident Odegaard will stay, Arteta replied: “I don’t know. It’s not in our hands. I don’t know.”

An eighth-place finish in the Premier League, however, means Arsenal won’t be in Europe next season for the first time in a quarter of a century.

Hopes of keeping Odegaard, though, will probably hinge on Zinedine Zidane’s future. The Real Madrid boss, who didn’t play the Norwegian much in Spain, is reportedly considering an exit.

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