Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their hopes of signing Martin Odegaard on a permanent deal, reports suggest.
The Gunners brought the Norway international to the Emirates Stadium on loan in the January transfer window.
Odegaard will remain a part of Mikel Arteta’s squad until the summer but will then return to Madrid.
Arsenal are said to be interested in bringing the attacking midfielder to the club on a permanent basis.
But according to Marca, Madrid are reluctant to sell Odegaard as they believe he will be a key player for the Spanish giants in the future.
The Norwegian is still only 22 years old and Madrid see him as a key fixture in their long-term plans.
The decision to sanction Odegaard’s departure on loan was purely so the youngster could get more first-team minutes under his belt.
Odegaard was restricted to just seven La Liga appearances for Zinedine Zidane’s side in the first half of the season, and only three of those came as starts.
The playmaker has already become an important member of Arteta’s squad, appearing in six games in all competitions.
Odegaard refused to rule out a permanent move to Arsenal when asked about his future by Norwegian station TV2 earlier this month.
“You never know what happens, but first of all my focus is about the rest of the season," he said. "Hopefully help the team, and then we'll see what happens."
However, Madrid do not appear willing to do business, with Odegaard expected to be back at the Santiago Bernabeu next term.
Odegaard featured in Thursday’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Benfica, as Arsenal came from behind to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League.
Arteta’s side return to Premier League action with a trip to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester on Sunday.
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