Mikel Arteta has confirmed Arsenal are “very positive” over the signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid.
Odegaard looks set to join the Gunners on loan after struggling for opportunities this season under Zinedine Zidane.
Speaking after Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Southampton on Tuesday, Arteta said: “I think we are pretty close but it's not finalised it as I understand it.
“I haven't spoken to [technical director] Edu or the club in the last few hours but we're very positive that we'll finalise the deal.”
Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette scored as Arsenal came from behind to win at St Mary’s.
The win was Arsenal’s fifth in their last six Premier League matches while Saka has now scored four goals in his last six league games.
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“He's really humble, really respectful and at the same time has that character to demand the ball, to make decisions that are not very usual for his age,” said Arteta about the 19-year-old.
“We need that leadership and he's gaining that with his attitude and his performances.
“He’s been very consistent through the season. We played him in different positions and he’s adapting really well. He seems really comfortable on the right his link up play his excellent his finishing is really good.
“He’s assisting players I think he had a really strong performance again today.”
Reflecting on the performance, Arteta added: “To come here and play the way we played, to react the way we played football against a really good side, overall I think we should be proud.”