Arsenal have made an approach to sign Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid, according to reports.
The Norway international has asked to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this month in order to get more regular game time elsewhere.
Odegaard has been restricted to just three starts in La Liga so far this season and has grown frustrated with a lack of opportunities.
Madrid are expected to grant the 22-year-old’s wish and several clubs have been linked with a move for the highly-rated starlet.
The Gunners face stiff competition for his signature, with Sevilla, Real Sociedad and an unnamed Premier League also in the race.
Odegaard thrived on loan at Real Sociedad last season and might be keen to secure a return to the Basque club, where he would now have the opportunity to link up with David Silva.
Arsenal spent the first half of the January transfer window trying to reduce their wage bill, and the departure of Mesut Ozil has certainly given them more breathing space as far as salaries are concerned.
The Gunners hierarchy then planned to spend the last two weeks of the window working on potential deals.
Edu, the club’s technical director, made an attacking midfielder a priority, and Arsenal are now waiting to hear back from Madrid about Odegaard.
The Gunners have already taken Dani Ceballos on loan from the Spanish giants and hope that will boost their chances of landing the 22-year-old.
Emile Smith Rowe has emerged as a No.10 in recent weeks to reduce the need for a new creator in that position.
But Mikel Arteta would no doubt welcome competition in the role behind the striker.
Meanwhile Arsenal are set to offer Smith Rowe an improved contract, according to the Daily Mail.
Smith Rowe currently earns around £15,000 a week but will be handed a new deal worth £40,000 a week.
The academy graduate has scored one goal and provided two assists in his last four first-team appearances.
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