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Gunners’ hopes of keeping Odegaard receive boost

Arsenal boss Arteta is desperate to keep the Norwegian playmaker at the Emirates Stadium

03 June, 2021 — By Steve Barnett

MIKEL Arteta might actually get his man after Arsenal’s hopes of hanging onto Martin Odegaard received a timely boost this week.

The Gunners boss is desperate to keep the Norwegian playmaker at the Emirates Stadium after he impressed during his loan spell from Real Madrid. And with Madrid unveiling Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager on Tuesday, it appears the chances of Odegaard staying in north London – at least for one more season – are on the rise.

Ancelotti was the boss at the Bernabeu when the Spanish giants signed Odegaard back in 2015.

He made it clear at the time that the 22-year-old was not “a player he asked for”, describing the transfer as a “PR stunt” by the club’s president Florentino Perez.

And while Ancelotti’s views on Odegaard may have since changed, Madrid will need to raise funds if they are going to build a new squad this summer. At the very least there are growing rumours that they would be willing to send the player back out on loan for another season, which would be music to Arteta’s ears.

Quizzed on signing Odegaard on a permanent deal, Arteta said: “Well, we have a very clear and strong opinion on what we would like to do.

“He’s not our player. We’ll have discussions in the next few weeks, but first of all we need to respect that he’s a Real Madrid player.

“We’ll have those communications. We’ve tried to make everything that we could to get Martin performing for the team, which I think he’s done, and he has adapted really well to our way of playing and to our football club.

“Hopefully we have given him the hope and the feeling that this could be a good place for him.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal revealed yesterday (Wednesday) that the men’s first-team will be travelling to the United States in July to compete in the Florida Cup as part of their preparations ahead of the 2021/22 season.

They will take part in the four-team tournament in Orlando alongside Premier League rivals Everton, Serie A champions Inter Milan, and Colombian side Millonarios.

The Gunners will face Inter Milan on Sunday, July 25, with Everton taking on Millonarios on the same day. The winners will play in the Florida Cup final on Wednesday, July 28, with the other two sides playing each other on the same day.

Arteta added: “We’re very pleased to see our pre-season plans ramping up. It will be great for our first-team squad to play two games in front of our US-based fans, and the tournament features three good sides that will provide strong opposition.”

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