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Arsenal transfer news: Martin Odegaard takes big step closer to joining Gunners

Martin Odegaard
(Image credit: PA)

Martin Odegaard is edging closer to securing a return to Arsenal, according to reports.

The Norway international impressed Mikel Arteta during his loan spell in north London in the second half of last season.

He then returned to Real Madrid and was hoping to earn a place in the first-team squad.

Zinedine Zidane never seemed to take to Odegaard, but the Frenchman's departure at the end of last term gave him another chance.

Yet Carlo Ancelotti has now deemed the 22-year-old surplus to requirements, allowing Arsenal to make their move.

Arteta wants to add another attacking midfielder to his squad before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

Emile Smith Rowe was Arsenal's standout performer in Friday's limp defeat by Brentford, and has been handed the No.10 shirt for the season.

But Arteta wants another player in that position and has identified Odegaard as his principal target.

The Gunners were also linked with a move for James Maddison, only to be put off by Leicester's £70m asking price.

Madrid, on the other hand, are willing to do business, and the Daily Mirror reports that Odegaard's agent is in London to begin talks with Arsenal.

A season-long loan deal is on the agenda, with the north London side having first refusal on a £30m transfer next summer.

Personal terms are not expected to be an issue and Arsenal are increasingly hopeful that Odegaard will be theirs come September 1 - or hopefully sooner.

There is a clear need for further reinforcements, even though it is never wise to read too much into individual games.

Yet Arsenal's loss to Brentford showcased many of the problems that will be all too familiar to the club's supporters by now.

Arteta has a massive job on his hands to turn things around, as Arsenal attempt to become regular top-four challengers once more.

But with Chelsea and Manchester City up next, things could get worse before they get better.

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