Arsenal is set to be disappointed with Real Madrid ready to reject any permanent move for midfielder Martin Odegaard during the summer transfer window.
The Norwegian attacking midfielder is currently on loan with the north London club where he has made an instant impact. Mikel Arteta has been impressed with his showing in training and in matches since he joined from the La Liga club in January.
The Gunners are thought to be keen on making his loan deal a permanent one in the summer, with the player also said to be open to considering a switch, especially since it will guarantee regular game time, something that was not available under Zinedine Zidane in Spain.
However, according to Spanish publication AS, the Santiago Bernabeu outfit has decided not to part with the Norway skipper as they feel that he can be a key player for Zidane next season. The report claims that the manager was not keen to let him leave on loan earlier in the year, but was powerless to stop it.
Zidane wanted Odegaard to provide backup to his first choice midfield pairing of Luca Modric and Toni Kroos as they challenged on two fronts – the La Liga and the Champions League. The report claims that the manager is worried about putting too much pressure on the aforementioned duo going into the latter stages in both competitions.
Odegaard struggled for game time in the first-half of the current campaign. It was not only that he struggled to adapt his game to Zidane's playing style, but was also played out of position on a number of occasions, which did not allow him to perform at his best.
Despite that, the Spanish publication claims that the La Liga giants view Odegaard as very much a part of their medium and long-term future and are certain that he will live up to his potential of being among the top midfielders in the world.
This will come as a big blow to Arsenal, who want to sign Odegaard on a permanent deal and were hoping to wrap up a deal for a fee of around £25 million. However, with Real's recent stance Arteta will have to look elsewhere for a creative midfielder.