Odegaard completes Arsenal medical

Martin Odegaard has completed a medical at Arsenal ahead of a loan move from Real Madrid.

Arsenal have agreed to sign the 22-year-old on loan until the end of the season, with the deal expected to be confirmed in the next 24 hours.

Odegaard has made it clear he wants to leave Real Madrid this month in order to play regular first-team football, having played just nine times in all competitions for the Spanish club this season.

Real Sociedad were keen on re-signing Odegaard after his season-long loan stint last year, but it is thought Real Madrid’s preference was to send him to a club outside La Liga.

Odegaard registered seven goals and nine assists across 36 appearances on loan at the La Liga side last season, leading Real Madrid to cut short his two-year loan and make him part of their first-team squad.

A number of Premier League clubs were also interested in Odegaard, including Leicester, although the Foxes opted not to pursue the Norwegian international after preliminary discussions.

Odegaard’s completed medical comes two days after the departure of attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil, who has joined Fenerbahce from Arsenal on a free transfer.

Odegaard will become Arsenal’s second signing of the January window after the club secured the services of Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan on a loan deal until the end of the season.


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If Arsenal complete the Odegaard deal by midday on Friday then he will be available for their Premier League trip to Manchester United on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

What will one-time wonderkid Odegaard bring to the Premier League?

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:

What will Odegaard bring to the Premier League? Well, hype, hope and a lot of media attention for starters.

The attention of the footballing world was centred on him in 2015 when, a month after his 16th birthday, Real Madrid won the race for his signature – and the interest in the now 22-year-old is set to ignite again.

Already a Norway international when he joined Real, Odegaard – who had drawn excitable comparisons with Lionel Messi – immediately began training with the first team and became the club’s youngest-ever player in the final game of that season.



Martin Odegaard




0:30

Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero provides detail surrounding Martin Odegaard’s loan move from Real Madrid to Arsenal

Back then, the anticipation of what Odegaard would become at the Bernabeu knew no bounds – but his progress, perhaps disappointingly for some, has been quieter since, as the gradual progression of a midfield technician has taken shape.

Patience is paying off now, though. After an underwhelming 18-month loan spell at Heerenveen, Odegaard had a standout season at Vitesse in 2018/19, creating more chances than any other player in the Dutch top flight, and finishing third in the assists chart to Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech.

He backed it up with an impressive season at Real Sociedad last year, when he hit double figures for goal contributions, and was recalled to Real Madrid as a result.

While a way into Zinedine Zidane’s line-up has ultimately been hard to find, Arsenal have landed a classy creator, a pass-master and an attacking midfielder with a fine touch and bright awareness of the game.

Odegaard will bring excitement on the pitch as well as off it.

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

The winter transfer window is open until Monday, February 1 at 11pm.

Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports‘ digital platforms, including our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

Let’

‘Messi to lead new Barca’ | Changing of the guard at Real?

On the latest Transfer Talk Podcast, Spanish football expert Terry Gibson says he expects Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona, but Zinedine Zidane and Sergio Ramos could leave Real Madrid.

The transfer story of last summer was a potential Barcelona exit for Messi, although after publicly announcing his intention to leave, soon decided to stay for another year.

It coincided with the appointment of Ronald Koeman as manager with the influential Barcelona presidential elections set to take place later this year after Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned.

Gibson expects Messi to continue at Barcelona after the end of this season – even with a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for free – and has praised Koeman’s approach to using young talent.

He told the Transfer Talk Podcast: “The Messi situation hasn’t changed. The Barcelona presidential elections have been delayed again due to coronavirus, but Juan Laporta looks to be favourite and he believes he can satisfy what Messi wants.

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“I’ll be honest: I don’t see a desperation from Messi to leave Barcelona. It’s a different project right now – up until the Spanish Super Cup when he lost his temper, things had been going well again. They have been inconsistent – Koeman has found it difficult in his first season but he’s had a clear-out and he’s been bold.

“Barcelona now have some special young players and that might be enough to convince Messi to hang around a bit longer. He’s been in good form and his relationship with Koeman is good – he can see where the club are trying to head.

“Man City and PSG will still be interested and Messi has a choice but I still believe there’s a possibility he’ll stay and become the leader of this vibrant new Barcelona. How good will they become in the second half of this season? It will be interesting. Messi can then take a judgement.



Ronald Koeman and Lionel Messi




3:26

Lionel Messi’s current contract at Barcelona expires in the summer. Should he remain a one-man club or move elsewhere? The panel from The Beautiful Game podcast have their say

“All the presidential candidates have been realistic with their proposals and no one has suggested anything about bringing in a new manager. It’s been hard for Koeman to win over the fans but people are now seeing that this is a season of transformation and it’s going to take time.

“Many managers would have come in and stuck with the senior players but Koeman has put people like Pedri in; Ronald Araujo is a terrific centre-half and has been playing regularly due to the absence of Gerard Pique. In the Copa del Rey, they’ve also used a teenager called Ilaix Moriba, who looks a fantastic player. Konrad de la Fuente looks special.

“Barcelona aren’t going to win the league this year and probably aren’t going to win the Champions League but people can see where Koeman is trying to take it, giving young players their opportunity. But this is a hugely important election because frankly, the last people in charge of the club made a mess of it.”

Zidane and Ramos to leave Real in the summer?

27 October 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, M'nchengladbach: Football: Champions League, Group stage, Group B, 2nd matchday, Borussia M'nchengladbach - Real Madrid at the stadium in Borussia-Park. Coach Zinedine Zidane (l) of Madrid is standing on the edge of the field. Photo by: Marius Becker/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
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Zinedine Zidane has come under pressure this season

There is also change afoot at Real Madrid, although in contrast to El Clasico rivals Barcelona, there could be key departures.

Zidane led Real Madrid to the La Liga title last season, with Ramos continuing to play a key role. However, the captain has yet to sign a contract extension beyond the end of this season, and Gibson believes the two could leave in the summer.

He added on the Transfer Talk Podcast: “I don’t think Real Madrid will rush into a change now but I think Zidane will be moved on at the end of the season. They won the league last season but the fan mood is that this should be his last season as coach.

Ramos AP
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Sergio Ramos’ current deal with Real Madrid expires in the summer

” It has irritated the fans and the Madrid media that they have lost some good players due to the fact Zidane is so loyal and faithful to the older group. All of a sudden, Zidane puts in a group of players in the Copa del Rey that have barely played this season. Marcelo, Eder Militao, Isco came in but have barely played.

“Federico Valverde has made a real impact as a box-to-box player but has been jettisoned. Vinicius has drifted away from the starting XI. They shouldn’t be losing to Alcoyano but the players weren’t match fit and then they were scrambling to throw on the big guns at the end. It doesn’t reflect well on Zidane.

“Could this be Ramos’ final season too? I’m going to be bold and say yes. I think there’s going to be a changing of the guard at Real Madrid and I think it will be a common theme that the legends don’t see out their career at the Bernabeu.



European giants Real Madrid were handed a humiliating Copa del Rey last-32 defeat by third division side Alcoyano




0:53

Real Madrid will not sack Zinedine Zidane despite the club’s ’embarrassing’ Copa del Rey last-32 defeat by third division side Alcoyano, says Spanish journalist Alvaro Montero

“Ramos is in great shape – he looks like the player of 10 years ago. He’s the leader on the pitch and off it. He will be a massive loss. But everyone concerned with Real Madrid is getting slightly bored with the old guard – they want change, new players given opportunities and I think Sergio Ramos could be a casualty of this attitude

” As opposed to him leading a new cycle, I think he could be allowed to move on because they won’t offer him a two-year deal. Any big club in Europe dismissing him because of his age, my advice would be don’t. He’s playing as well as ever and has another 100 or so games in him at the top level, I believe.”

Let’

Transfer Talk: What does the future hold for Bale?

Gareth Bale’s loan return to Tottenham has failed to live up to the fanfare. On the latest Transfer Talk Podcast, the panel discuss where his future could lie.

The forward has made just one Premier League start so far this season, although he did arrive at Spurs carrying an injury that delayed his second debut for the club. He has featured more prominently in the Europa League and FA Cup.

Tottenham travel to Wycombe in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Monday and ahead of the game, manager Jose Mourinho said Bale needed to ‘earn’ his minutes.

“I cannot give players minutes, minutes on the pitch is not something I can give, so I’m not going in this direction,” he said. “We all know the difficulties he had for a couple of seasons, we all know that he arrived injured, we all know that even this season (has been) a little bit up and down with small things.

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“The most important thing for him is to be consistent, training without any problems and when a player is consistent in training, high intensity without any kind of problems, then the player is ready. Not to be given minutes, but is ready to earn minutes, and that for me is a difference.

“This week he is working every minute like everybody else at a good intensity and let’s see the way that he reacts to the accumulation of that kind of work and let’s see how he reacts by the end of the week.”

It comes amid reports that Tottenham will not look to keep Bale past his season-long loan from Real Madrid. So where could his future lie?

‘No chance of Bale staying at Spurs’



Gareth Bale




1:48

Former Tottenham captain Michael Dawson believes it is only a matter of time before Bale reproduces some of the form he showed in his first spell at the club

Spanish football expert Terry Gibson believes Bale will be leaving Tottenham, but has encouraged him to fight for his place.

He told the Transfer Talk Podcast: “Zinedine Zidane’s got other things on his plate – I’m sure he’s not even thinking about Gareth Bale right now!

“At the moment, you’d say there’s no chance of him staying beyond this season with Spurs because it’s not working out but we shouldn’t be quick to blame him because there’s a lack of playing time. Jose sees Bale in training every day; it’s his prerogative not to play him.

“But because of his ability – he’s still only 31 – there’s a good chance if he gets a run of games, that will answer the questions. Is his body still up to playing five or six consecutive games? We haven’t got the evidence yet. And does he fit into what Jose wants to do? Again, we haven’t been able to see that yet. I think he can.

“A fit, healthy Bale would, in my opinion, be above [Lucas] Moura and [Steven] Bergwjin but we’re suggesting he’s been a failure with just one start in the Premier League. Until he gets the opportunity – whether he gets it or not is another matter – we can’t say that but at the moment a second season doesn’t look likely. Without seeing him given that opportunity, that would be a real waste of time and money.

“There’s no point bringing in a player if the manager doesn’t want him. Jose seemed enthusiastic at the time but I warned people about having to be patient.

“I knew he wasn’t 100 per cent fit. His injuries have been an issue this season too – perhaps, Jose, having seen him, thinks he’s not going to be the player he was, able to play week-in, week-out. Ultimately, we have to see Bale play. I hope he’s still got the fire in his belly to fight for the rest of the season and prove Jose has to play him.”

Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth also raised the question over who made the final decision to bring Bale back to Spurs.

Will Gareth Bale have a future at Real Madrid if he returns from Tottenham?
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Will Bale have a future at Real Madrid if he returns from Tottenham?

He added to the Transfer Talk Podcast: “All the talk was how the season-long loan for Bale was just going to be the start and that it would be extended into next season – his agent was even talking about it.

“But he’s made just one start in the Premier League all season. One goal in the Premier League all season. You’d think his playing time would have to increase before Tottenham contemplate what they’ll do next season. When Mourinho was asked recently, he said it hadn’t even come up yet.

“What Bale needs to do, if he wants to stay, is force his way into the team and change the minds of people at Tottenham that he’s worth keeping on.

“You wonder now, was this a Mourinho decision? If it was, you would have expected Bale to have had more opportunities. Or, as some people suspect, was it a Daniel Levy decision? You can’t blame Levy for thinking about the potential off as well as on the pitch with all the marketing opportunities with Bale.”

Let’

Arsenal agree Odegaard loan deal

Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan until the end of the season.

Odegaard will undergo a medical in the next 48 hours before completing his temporary move to north London.

The 22-year-old made it clear he wanted to leave this month in order to play regular first-team football, having played just nine times in all competitions for Real Madrid this season.

Real Sociedad were keen on re-signing Odegaard after his season-long loan stint last year, but it is thought Real Madrid’s preference was to send him to a club outside La Liga.

Odegaard registered seven goals and nine assists across 36 appearances on loan at the La Liga side last season, leading Real Madrid to cut short his two-year loan and make him part of their first-team squad.

A number of Premier League clubs were also interested in the Norwegian, including Leicester, although the Foxes opted not to pursue the Norwegian international after preliminary discussions.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JANUARY 24: New transfer of Fenerbahce, Mesut Ozil (C) attends a training session of his team at Samandira Can Bartu facilities in Istanbul, Turkey on January 24, 2021. (Photo by Serhat Cagdas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Mesut Ozil trained with his new Fenerbahce team-mates on Sunday after his free transfer from Arsenal was confirmed

The agreement was reached on the same day Mesut Ozil’s departure from the club was confirmed, as the 32-year-old terminated his deal at the Emirates Stadium to join Fenerbahce on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

Odegaard is set to become Arsenal’s second signing of the January window, after the club secured the services of Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan on a six-month loan deal.

Mikel Arteta’s side also saw Sokratis Papasthatopoulos leave the club after mutually agreeing to cancel his contract, while Sead Kolasinac and Saliba have respectively joined Schalke 04 and Nice on loan deals until the end of the season.

What will one-time wonderkid Odegaard bring to the Premier League?

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:

What will Odegaard bring to the Premier League? Well, hype, hope and a lot of media attention for starters.

The attention of the footballing world was centred on him in 2015 when, a month after his 16th birthday, Real Madrid won the race for his signature – and the interest in the now 22-year-old is set to ignite again.

Already a Norway international when he joined Real, Odegaard – who had drawn excitable comparisons with Lionel Messi – immediately began training with the first team and became the club’s youngest-ever player in the final game of that season.

MArtin Odegaard
Image:
Odegaard signed for Real Madrid as a 16-year-old in 2015

Back then, the anticipation of what Odegaard would become at the Bernabeu knew no bounds – but his progress, perhaps disappointingly for some, has been quieter since, as the gradual progression of a midfield technician has taken shape.

Patience is paying off now, though. After an underwhelming 18-month loan spell at Heerenveen, Odegaard had a standout season at Vitesse in 2018/19, creating more chances than any other player in the Dutch top flight, and finishing third in the assists chart to Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech.

He backed it up with an impressive season at Real Sociedad last year, when he hit double figures for goal contributions, and was recalled to Real Madrid as a result.

While a way into Zinedine Zidane’s line-up has ultimately been hard to find, Arsenal have landed a classy creator, a pass-master and an attacking midfielder with a fine touch and bright awareness of the game.

Odegaard will bring excitement on the pitch as well as off it.

Read the feature in full

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

The winter transfer window is open until Monday, February 1 at 11pm.

Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports‘ digital platforms, including our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

Let’

What Odegaard would bring to Arsenal

Arsenal are on the brink of completing a loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard – but what could the one-time wonderkid bring to the Emirates Stadium and where would he fit into Mikel Arteta’s team?

The Norway international is now 22 but hit the headlines in 2015 when he was signed by Real as a 16-year-old, with comparisons to Lionel Messi being made about his ability.

While his career has not taken off as Messi’s did, his development has taken some encouraging strides forwards in recent seasons and Arteta and Arsenal supporters will be excited to see what he can produce in the Premier League.

Here, we take a look at some of the key questions around the switch…

Why are Real Madrid loaning Odegaard to Arsenal?

Odegaard has spent time on loan at Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad since joining Real Madrid.

He was recalled to his parent club for this campaign after an impressive 2019/20 season at Sociedad with a view to becoming an important figure in Zinedine Zidane’s XI but, despite a promising start, he has fallen out of favour and has been pushing for a loan spell to earn more game time and continue his development.

It’s believed Odegaard’s first preference would have been a return to Sociedad, but with Real favouring a move outside of La Liga, Arsenal look set to capitalise.

Terry Gibson on the Transfer Talk podcast:

“This has been instigated by the player. He showed his credentials at Real Sociedad last season – he was one of the standout players in the whole La Liga campaign. It wasn’t such a big surprise that Real Madrid took him back; the surprise was that he’d done so well – I think that took Real Madrid by surprise. It was an easy choice to bring him back.

“But the relationship with Zidane hasn’t been perfect. Initially there was an improvement – he was playing and doing ok at the start of the season and there was a position for him in the system.

“But things have turned sour and he’s disappeared. There have been one or two niggly injuries but most of the time it’s because Zidane hasn’t chosen him.

“I believe it’s Odegaard insisting he doesn’t want to sit on the bench at Real Madrid. He doesn’t want to be another dependable squad player; he sees himself as being a star and he sees the path to that as playing regularly and he showed what he could do at Sociedad.”

What would Odegaard bring to Arsenal?



Martin Odegaard




1:21

Spanish football journalist Alvaro Montero sees Martin Odegaard as a good replacement for Mesut Ozil

Terry Gibson on the Transfer Talk podcast:

“He’s an attacking midfield player – don’t expect too much defensively! He’s a player who can open up packed defences and he’s a player who has the quality to play regularly for Real Madrid, he’s that good.

“Would he suit Arsenal and the Premier League? I think he would. He’s a really good player; I think he has the quality to play for any of the big clubs in the Premier League.”

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:

“What will Odegaard bring to the Premier League? Well, hype, hope and a lot of media attention for starters.

“The attention of the footballing world was centred on him in 2015 when, a month after his 16th birthday, Real Madrid won the race for his signature – and the interest in the now 22-year-old is set to ignite again.

“Back then, the anticipation of what Odegaard would become at the Bernabeu knew no bounds – but his progress, perhaps disappointingly for some, has been quieter since, as the gradual progression of a midfield technician has taken shape.

“Patience is paying off now, though. After an underwhelming 18-month loan spell at Heerenveen, Odegaard had a standout season at Vitesse in 2018/19, creating more chances than any other player in the Dutch top flight, and finishing third in the assists chart to Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech.

“He backed it up with an impressive season at Real Sociedad last year, when he hit double figures for goal contributions, and was recalled to Real Madrid as a result.

“While a way into Zidane’s line-up has ultimately been hard to find, Arsenal are now set to land a classy creator, a pass-master and an attacking midfielder with a fine touch and bright awareness of the game.

“Odegaard will bring excitement on the pitch as well as off it.”

Where would Odegaard fit in?



Mikel Arteta




1:05

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says the club are ‘looking at options’ in the January windwo

Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:

“Emile Smith Rowe has provided an injection of creativity since breaking into the Arsenal team last month, producing three assists in five Premier League appearances from the number 10 position once occupied by the soon-to-depart Mesut Ozil.

“But at only 20 years old and with injury problems in his recent past, it would be risky to ask the academy graduate to bear the creative burden on his own. Odegaard looks an ideal candidate to share it.

“The Norwegian had to leave Spain for the Netherlands as a teenager for the good of his development, but loans with Heerenveen and Vitesse helped him mature and he showed just how far he has come during his excellent spell at Real Sociedad last year.

“Only five players, including Lionel Messi and Santi Cazorla, created more scoring chances than Odegaard in La Liga last season and the 22-year-old also ranked in the top 10 for successful dribbles.

Odegaard's favoured position is number 10 but he can play elsewhere too
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Odegaard’s favoured position is number 10 but he can play elsewhere too

“Those qualities could prove invaluable for Arsenal in the role Smith Rowe is playing now but Odegaard also has the versatility to play elsewhere. He is capable of playing as a number eight in a 4-3-3 formation and during his season with Vitesse, he provided regular stream of goals and assists from the right flank.

“Much will depend on how he adapts to English football, of course. From Kim Kallstrom to Denis Suarez, Arsenal’s recent history is a reminder that January loan signings do not always work out.

“But Odegaard certainly has the ingredients to help Arteta’s side build on their recent improvement in the final third – be that at number 10, number eight or on the right flank.”

Terry Gibson on the Transfer Talk podcast:

“Will Arsenal find a place on a weekly basis for Odegaard? I’m not sure they will because of the position he plays in. Smith Rowe has come into the team and is flying.

“Odegaard has to choose not the glamorous option but the place where he goes and plays 25, 30 games until the end of the season. I’m not sure if that will happen at Arsenal.”

Where is Odegaard’s long-term future?

Arsenal are looking to sign Odegaard on a loan deal until the end of the season – but, if all goes well, what are the chances of them extending that into another season or even a permanent deal?

There is no formal option to buy in the agreement with Real Madrid and, according to Gibson, the player’s long-term ambition remains to become a star at the Bernabeu.

“I think Odegaard sees his long-term future at Real Madrid – probably after Zidane has moved on,” said Gibson.

Odegaard signed a contract extension with Real Madrid at the start of last season which would keep him at the Spanish club until 2023 – so it could take a substantial amount of money to buy him on a permanent deal.

Let’