Arsenal are planning to negotiate with Real Madrid at the end of the season and hope Martin Odegaard can be persuaded to stay - with another loan option on the table if a permanent move can't be agreed.
Odegaard joined Real Madrid in 2015 but in the space of three months at Arsenal has now played almost twice as many minutes for his new loan side than he has ever played for his parent club. Odegaard, 22, has racked up just 489 minutes for Madrid but already has 769 minutes under his belt for the Gunners.
Arsenal hope their faith in his ability will help convince the player that he should stick with them beyond this season but they are aware it might take some good negotiating to secure a permanent deal as Odegaard has a release clause of €350 million.
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The club obviously do not see that as a realistic valuation of the player and third-party sources are indicating that his genuine worth in this market is probably around £40m, plus add-ons. But the clause - common across La Liga to protect assets - will still make negotiations complicated.
Arsenal are going to work on ways to open up finances for the summer window in upcoming meetings and it is only once we get towards the end of the season that Emirates officials will seriously gauge how they can evolve the squad.
The alternate - and possibly more realistic option - would be another loan spell, and sources say it is an avenue they intend to explore.
With Zinedine Zidane still at the helm, it is understood Odegaard has major doubts about how much he would figure back in Madrid even if given assurances that a pathway will be made.
His contract runs to 2023 and with that in mind Arsenal will broach the subject about him staying on when they meet Madrid for talks to assess how this stay has gone.
While no formal discussions are taking place about Odegaard’s future just yet, towards the end of the season Arsenal will ask for a clear picture on whether he is available and what they need to do to sign him.

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United in market for emerging midfield star

Manchester United are going to search for a new central midfielder - but are likely to target a young rising star rather than an established figure.
Large sections of the club’s support have been left bewildered by the fact they do not seem to be addressing the defensive midfield area of their side, with Nemanja Matic and Fred both called out again at the weekend in a 3-1 defeat to Leicester City.
The area has not been set as a priority for the next transfer window as the club seek to find new options in attack and central defence instead.
John Murtough has recently been appointed football director and former United star Darren Fletcher has been made technical director though, and the midfield has been raised as an area they want to look at, sources say.
Budgeting is tricky as most of their cash is expected to be filtered into those other positions - so it is felt United will look for an up and coming starlet who can be moulded into a star over the next year or so, rather than signing someone who is already the full package.

Wilder and Dyche possible Newcastle options

Steve Bruce looks set to stay at Newcastle United but that does not mean other managers are not keeping a close eye on his position.
The boss finds himself under pressure as local media put the squeeze on owner Mike Ashley to make a change in the dugout by removing the boss.
At this stage it is not looking likely, as Ashley still has confidence in Bruce and is believed to feel he is the best man to get them back to the Premier League if they do go down.
With pressure mounting, we will see if he can stick to that stance, and there are a couple of names to look out for if a change is made.
Sources are indicating that former Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and Burnley boss Sean Dyche would both have their names in the frame if Bruce leaves St James’ Park.

Newcastle United's English head coach Steve Bruce

Image credit: Getty Images

Transfer battle for Edouard not happening

Odsonne Edouard is being touted to clubs across England ahead of a potential summer transfer but there seems to be little concrete interest.
Leicester City are the club most likely to make any move for the Celtic striker but it had been expected that there would be a tussle to sign him and at this stage that does not seem to be the case.
Edouard has been linked with a move since the January window and Leicester do see him as a potential option for their front line in the future.
But his record of 16 goals this season has so far not convinced anyone else that he would be worth a deal of up to £20m when the transfer window reopens.
Celtic are not looking to sell him, so will not be particularly disheartened by the fact there seems doubt south of the border about how he would fare in the Premier League.
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