Arsenal closing on Martin Odegaard deal with hope he could face Chelsea this weekend

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Arsenal closing on Martin Odegaard deal with hope he could face Chelsea this weekend
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Arsenal are close to completing a permanent deal for Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard.

The Gunners are in advanced talks with Madrid over a deal worth up to £34million for the Norway international, who impressed on loan in north London last season.

There is still work to be done on the deal but there is a hope at Arsenal that Odegaard will be available to face Chelsea at the Emirates this Sunday.

In order to feature in the London derby this weekend, Odegaard must be registered as an Arsenal player by 12 noon on Friday.

The 22-year-old, who was omitted from Carlo Ancelotti’s squad for their win over Alaves on Saturday, is expected to sign a five-year deal at the Emirates, though personal terms have not been completely agreed.

 (Pool via REUTERS)
(Pool via REUTERS)

It has also been reported that Odegaard, who has only ever made eight League appearances for Madrid since joining in 2015, did not train with the main group on Tuesday as the deal moved towards completion.

Arsenal had also been exploring a move for Leicester City’s James Maddison, but accelerated talks over Odegaard after the £25million sale of academy graduate Joe Willock to Newcastle went through last week.

Odegaard scored twice and made two assists in 20 appearances under Mikel Arteta during his loan spell last season.

Speaking at the end of the campaign, Arteta was hopeful that the Norwegian would return.

“He has adapted really well to our way of playing and to our football,” said the Spaniard. “Hopefully we have given him the hope and the feeling this could be a good place for him.”

An attacking midfielder has been a priority for Arteta this summer with defender Ben White, midfielder Sambi Lokonga and full-back Nuno Tavares having already been signed. Attention will move to a goalkeeper once Odegaard’s move is confirmed and Arsenal are pushing ahead with their protracted move for Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale.

Asked about Ramsdale’s future this week, Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic said: “I don’t know. If you ask me if I want him to leave, then no. I am the Sheffield United coach, he’s a Sheffield United player now and it will depend on the club, it will depend on our club and it will depend also Arsenal, too.

“They are the principal club pushing for him. In this moment there does not exist any change, we will see what happens in the future.”

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