Romano reveals truth about Odegaard buy-back clause as Murphy names ‘irreplaceable’ Arsenal star

Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard points instructions to his team-mates Credit: Alamy
Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard points instructions to his team-mates Credit: Alamy

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano says Real Madrid “don’t have any buy back clause” for Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard.

The Norway international has been in sensational form this season and is a key reason for the Gunners being top of the Premier League table after 16 matches.

Arsenal have won 14 of their 16 Premier League fixtures this term and are now seven points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Everton at the weekend.

Spanish journalist Ramon Alvarez de Mon claimed last week that Arsenal risk losing Odegaard with Real Madrid possessing a buy-back option when they agreed to let him move to the Emirates for £30m 18 months ago.

He said on YouTube: “There is a kind of right of first refusal for Real Madrid that we will see if at some point it makes sense for them to exercise it. Odegaard has just turned 24 and is still at a good age. His talent is special and he spent very little time here.”

However, Romano insists that is not true and that Odegaard is “in love with the Arsenal project”.

Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Real Madrid don’t have any buy back clause for Martin Odegaard. He’s in love with the Arsenal project, captaining the side that are now seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.

“This deal was an Edu masterpiece in 2021. Real Madrid did not want to sell Odegaard in June/July, Arsenal waited… until they got the green light for less than €40m.”

Odegaard has had a lot of praise this season and Arsenal team-mate Bukayo Saka hailed the 24-year-old after the Gunners beat Brighton 4-2 on Saturday.

“Our captain [Martin Odegaard] is playing amazing,” said Saka.

“He does so much for the team. He is the orchestra of our team. He is a really efficient captain. He does a lot of talking on the pitch.”

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy thinks Odegaard is so important to Arsenal that he is currently irreplaceable.

“I do think Odegaard is the one player they would struggle to replace,” Murphy said on Match of the Day. “They’ve got other talented players but, for me, they would struggle to replace him.

“Looking at Arsenal as a whole, they are there. I thought they would fall away but they’re not.”

Speaking about Odegaard, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said over the weekend: “He is doing what we want him to do – to decide football matches and work really hard and deliver to the team what he needs in these moments which is different.

“The four front players scored again today; that is great news. Eddie scoring again, Bukayo, Martinelli and in crucial moments as well.

“That’s what we want, those players deciding football matches when the team needs it and that’s what they’re doing.”

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