'Monchengladbach could not compete with Real Madrid for Odegaard'

Die Foalen revealed they nearly landed the wonderkid in January before being pipped by the Spanish aristocrats

Borussia Monchengladbach’s head scout has claimed that the club were set to sign Martin Odegaard but were ultimately blown out of the water by Real Madrid.

Odegaard’s signature was arguably the most desired in European football during the January transfer window, with the Norwegian sensation linked to the likes of Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Liverpool.

The 16-year-old eventually moved to the Santiago Bernabeu from Stromsgodset but, according to Danish scout Ove Flindt Berg, Gladbach were set to steal the Norwegian prodigy from under the noses of Europe’s elite until Madrid entered the race.

“I am absolutely sure that if he hadn’t ended up at Real Madrid then he would have chosen us at Gladbach,” the 66-year-old told DR. “We were so far down the road. No one really knows that.

“We could not compete with Real Madrid. That’s the way it is.”

Berg, who played for AaB in his native Denmark before stints abroad with Karlsruher and San Jose Earthquakes in the 1970s and 1980s, added that he was convinced of Odegaard’s talent after one look at the attacking midfielder.

“I only needed to see Martin Odegaard once. After that, I visited him at his parents’ home three times and the club also had another representative go up and visit him,” he said.

Odegaard made his La Liga debut for Real in the final round of the 2014-15 season, coming off the bench in a 7-3 victory over Grenada, while he has made six appearances for Norway’s senior team.

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