Transfer news - Arsenal could secure Martin Odegaard on second loan deal - Transfer Notebook
Martin Odegaard has made a big impact since joining Arsenal on loan in January and showed his class in the thrilling comeback against West Ham at the weekend. But can Arsenal hope to keep hold of him at the end of the season? Dean Jones opens his Transfer Notebook to explain how a second loan could be the answer.
Martin Odegaard of Arsenal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal
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.
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.
'It makes no sense!' - What are Real Madrid doing sending Odegaard to Arsenal?
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.