Arsenal captain Odegaard could have joined Bayern Munich - but Guardiola's career planning scuppered transfer

Martin Odegaard Arsenal 2022-23Getty
  • Pep wanted to sign Odegaard in 2015
  • Felt he could make him the best in the world
  • But left German giants without his man

WHAT HAPPENED? It has been revealed by Bundesliga expert and former player Jan Aage Fjortoft that Guardiola asked him in 2015 if he could help in bending the ear of Odegaard, in a bid to persuade him to join Bayern Munich. Norwegian centre-forward Fjortoft, though, had a response for the legendary manager which ultimately proved to be true.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking in Sport Bild, Fjortoft explained his encounter with Guardiola in 2015, where they discussed fellow Norwegian Odegaard: "When I was with Bayern at the training camp in Qatar, Pep Guardiola came up to me, put his finger on my chest and said: 'You have to bring him to Bayern, I'll make him the best player in the world'.

"I answered: 'There is a problem, because you will soon be leaving Bayern Munich yourself.' Then he was suddenly very still."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Odegaard burst onto the scene in his teens having earned full international honours for Norway at just 15 years old and was snapped up by Real Madrid in 2015, who beat Bayern and Guardiola to his signature.

The 2015-16 season would prove to be Guardiola's last in Munich. He proved Fjortoft right as he left in the summer to take over at Manchester City. In the time since, he's taken them to four Premier League titles, while Odegaard has found himself as the captain of a resurgent Arsenal side that could well pip them to the title this season.


Pep Guardiola Bayern MunichGetty ImagesMartin Odegaard Real MadridGetty ImagesMartin Odegaard Arsenal 2022-23

WHAT NEXT FOR ODEGAARD? An immensely talented and already mature player, the midfield technician will be desperate to keep moving forward and fire the Gunners to a first Premier League crown since their invincible 2003-04 season.

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Who is Arsenal's most important player?

  • 37%Bukayo Saka
  • 27%Martin Odegaard
  • 3%William Saliba
  • 4%Oleksandr Zinchenko
  • 29%Thomas Partey
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