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
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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.

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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.

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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




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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




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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’

Arsenal in advanced talks to loan Odegaard

Arsenal are in advanced negotiations to sign Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan.

Odegaard 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 Madrid held productive talks with the Norway international in the last 24 hours, while negotiations with Arsenal are progressing well, although an agreement is yet to be reached.

Real Sociedad were keen on re-signing Odegaard after his season-long loan stint last year, but it is thought Real Madrid’s preference is to send the 22-year-old 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.

Cautious optimism at Arsenal over Odegaard

Sky Sports News’ Paul Gilmour on The Transfer Show:

“I was previously told Friday would be a significant day, not necessarily in terms of an official announcement but rather negotiations would step up a level, and that has proved to be the case.

“Arsenal and Real Madrid are in advanced negotiations over a loan move until the end of the season.

“It follows productive talks between Martin Odegaard and Real Madrid. He told them his primary motivation for wanting the move away was regular football, and he got his wish.

“We told you about Arsenal’s approach on Monday and that ultimately is a disappointment for Real Sociedad. They had been confident of taking him back on loan for a second spell.

“But regarding Arsenal, I must stress nothing is signed yet. Clubs tend not to relax until that happens, but it is fair to say there is cautious optimism at Arsenal.”

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.

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 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.

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’

Zidane tests positive for coronavirus

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has tested positive for the coronavirus, the La Liga club said in a statement on Friday.

The French coach was isolating earlier this month after a close contact tested positive for Covid-19 and did not attend a training session as a result.

Zidane, who is under pressure following Real’s shock cup defeat to third division side Alcoyano earlier this week, will not be available for their La Liga match away at Alaves on Saturday with his assistant David Bettoni set to take charge.

Real are second in the league standings, seven points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand.

Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard, midfielder Casemiro and defender Eder Militao also tested positive earlier this season.



Martin Odegaard




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Spanish football journalist Alvaro Montero believes Martin Odegaard will be a good replacement for Mesut Ozil

Arsenal in advanced talks to loan Odegaard

Arsenal are in advanced negotiations to sign Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan.

Odegaard 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 Madrid held productive talks with the Norway international in the last 24 hours, while negotiations with Arsenal are progressing well, although an agreement is yet to be reached.

Real Sociedad were keen on re-signing Odegaard after his season-long loan stint last year, but it is thought Real Madrid’s preference is to send the 22-year-old 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.



Emile Smith Rowe produced an outstanding display as Arsenal won convincingly




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Arsenal may hinder the progress of Emile Smith Rowe if they sign Martin Odegaard, according to Jermaine Beckford

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

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:

What would 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 will ignite again if he comes to these shores.

Real Madrid's Martin Odegaard during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Betis and Real Madrid at the at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville, Spain, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Angel Fernandez)
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Arsenal want to bring Martin Odegaard to north London

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.

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 Netherlands’ top flight, and finishing third in the assists charts to Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech.



Mikel Arteta




1:05

Mikel Arteta said Arsenal are ‘looking at options’ in the January transfer window but refused to confirm their interest in Martin Odegaard

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, Premier League clubs are now pursuing a classy creator, a pass master, and an attacking midfielder with a fine touch and bright awareness of the game.

Odegaard – if he does come to England – 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’

Real Madrid lose to third-tier Alcoyano

Real Madrid suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to third division Alcoyano to exit the Copa del Rey after extra-time on Wednesday night.

Eder Militao headed in a cross from Brazilian compatriot Marcelo to give Real the lead right at the end of the first half, but Alcoyano substitute Jose Solbes levelled for the hosts with 10 minutes remaining to force the extra period.

Alcoyano were reduced to 10 men in the 110th minute when Ramon Lopez picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Casemiro, but found an unlikely winner five minutes later when midfielder Juanan turned in a cross from close range.

Zidane made nine changes to the team that were beaten 2-1 by Athletic Bilbao in last week’s Spanish Super Cup semi-final but was still able to field a strong starting 11 containing five Champions League winners.

The entire Alcoyano celebrate after taking the lead against Real Madrid deep into extra-time
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The entire Alcoyano celebrate after taking the lead against Real Madrid deep into extra-time

That was the only shock of the night, with Real Sociedad winning 2-0 at Cordoba to pick up their first victory of 2021 and progress.

Bundesliga: Bayern unconvincing in victory

Robert Lewandowski kept up his sensational goalscoring form with a 22nd Bundesliga goal in 16 games
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Robert Lewandowski kept up his sensational goalscoring form with a 22nd Bundesliga goal in 16 games

Bayern Munich remain four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga following an unconvincing 1-0 success away to Augsburg.

Robert Lewandowski, the division’s leading scorer, claimed his 22nd league goal of the campaign by converting a 13th-minute penalty.

The hosts squandered a golden chance to snatch a point as Alfred Finnbogason missed from the spot 14 minutes from time.

RB Leipzig climbed to second after Sweden international Emil Forsberg earned them a 1-0 victory over Union Berlin.

At the other end of the table, Schalke remain rock bottom after conceding a dramatic stoppage-time winner in the 2-1 loss to fellow strugglers Cologne.

Matthew Hoppe cancelled out Rafael Czichos’ opener to level for the hosts but Jan Thielmann struck at the death to inflict defeat.

Cologne, however, remain in the relegation zone after Fabian Klos, an own goal from Marc-Oliver Kempf and Ritsu Doan gave Arminia Bielefeld a thumping 3-0 win over Stuttgart.

In Wednesday’s other game, Keven Schlotterbeck’s second-half own goal secured Eintracht Frankfurt a 2-2 draw at Freiburg. Roland Sallai and Nils Petersen had turned the contest in the home side’s favour following Amin Younes’ early opener.

La Liga: Late penalty miss costs Villarreal

In Spain, Villarreal missed the chance to go third in La Liga after Paco Alcacer missed an stoppage-time penalty in the 2-2 draw with Granada.

Alcacer’s failure from 12 yards, following the dismissal of Yan Eteki, prevented the hosts moving above his former club Barcelona.

Veteran striker Roberto Soldado and Chelsea loanee Kenedy earned Granada a point by scoring either side of Ruben Pena’s goal and Mario Gomez’s spot-kick.

Sergio Canales’ brace cancelled out Santi Mina’s goal to give Real Betis a 2-1 success over Celta Vigo, while Huesca remain bottom after a second-half strike from Mauro Arambarri condemned them to a 1-0 defeat at Getafe.

Ligue 1: Lens close in on Marseille

Simon Banza's second-half winner moved Lens up to seventh
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Simon Banza’s second-half winner moved Lens up to seventh

In France, Lens moved to within a point of sixth-placed Marseille courtesy of Simon Banza’s second-half goal securing a 1-0 win at the Stade Velodrome.

Ronaldo becomes all-time top goalscorer

Cristiano Ronaldo became football’s all-time leading goalscorer by firing Juventus to Italian Super Cup glory against Napoli.

Portugal international Ronaldo registered the 760th strike of a remarkable career in the 64th minute to help reigning Serie A champions Juve claim the trophy with a 2-0 win.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored to help Juventus win a record-extending ninth Italian Super Cup by beating Napoli 2-0 on Wednesday
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Cristiano Ronaldo scored to help Juventus win a record-extending ninth Italian Super Cup by beating Napoli 2-0 on Wednesday

The 35-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward moved one goal ahead of Czech player Josef Bican, who officially managed 759 strikes between 1931 and 1955.

Lorenzo Insigne had a chance to ruin Ronaldo’s milestone moment but missed an 80th-minute penalty before Alvaro Morata wrapped up the win for Andrea Pirlo’s side deep into stoppage time.

Elsewhere in Italy, sixth-placed Atalanta salvaged a 1-1 Serie A draw at Udinese after Colombia striker Luis Muriel cancelled out a first-minute opener from former Watford midfielder Roberto Pereyra.

Let’