Mikel Arteta has hinted Arsenal would like to turn Martin Odegaard’s loan at Arsenal into a permanent arrangement.
The Norwegian midfielder joined the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid towards the end of the January transfer window.
Odegaard has made a promising start to life in north London - so much so that Arteta said he has the potential to become one of the best players in the world - and the Gunners coach is hopeful of being able to persuade the player to remain at Arsenal.
What was said?
“We have Martin for a few months from Real Madrid and first of all we have to maximise this time with him to try to bring to the team all the qualities he has,” Arteta said.
“At the end of the season we will sit together and decide where we can take that relationship forward. At the moment it doesn’t just depend on us.”
What does Odegaard bring to Arsenal?
The 22-year-old has shown his quality in loan spells at Vitesse and Real Sociedad, with his composure and creativity winning many fans.
Composure looked one of his primary skillsets in the 4-2 win over Leeds, and Arteta feels he has a leader on his hands.
“On the pitch he is showing a lot of character and a lot of intelligence,” Arteta said. “They are characteristics that a leader should have.
“He has been here a very short time but he has adapted very quickly. He is getting more and more respect from the players and the staff and his weight on the team will increase with every week.”
Is a deal for Odegaard likely?
The indications coming out of the Arsenal camp are positive, so there appears to be willing from the buying side.
Odegaard gave an interview in his native Norway saying he was enjoying life in London, and did not rule out extending his stay.
Real will have the final say and much will depend on their transfer strategy in the summer.
If the Spanish champions want to make a big signing in the summer, they are likely to need to free up funds and that could leave the door ajar for Arsenal to press ahead with a bid for Odegaard.