Liverpool could play a role in determining whether Martin Odegaard is a permanent Arsenal player or not next season, according to reports. The Norway international is impressing at the Emirates on loan from Real Madrid and was influential again in the 3-3 Premier League draw with West Ham on Sunday.
And Arsenal would love to recruit Odegaard permanently in the summer transfer window given his performances but also his ceiling to improve further under Mikel Arteta.
The playmaker is still just 22 years old but despite his promise does not seem to have a role to play in Madrid for as long as Zinedine Zidane is in charge.
The Norwegian started just three times in La Liga in the first half of the season under the Frenchman before moving to Arsenal in January.
Odegaard has however been used regularly as a starter by Arteta and fits well into the Spaniard’s system in north London.
The Independent suggest however that the prospect of the attacking midfielder playing in the English capital on a permanent basis may be tied to Real Madrid’s fortunes this season.
It’s claimed that if Los Blancos continue to falter, the defending La Liga champions may open up a role for Odegaard from next season onwards in what would presumably be a shake-up of staff, both playing and coaching.
Currently, Real Madrid stand to finish third in the league behind rivals Atletico Madrid and Barcelona while they suffered the embarrassment of losing to 10-man third-tier side Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey.
And disappointment in Europe to go with a poor domestic return could see Zidane dismissed as manager by president Florentino Perez.
The 13-time European Cup winners however have a route to the Champions League final mapped out and take on an out-of-sorts Liverpool in the quarter-finals.
If they beat the Reds, they will go head-to-head with either Porto or Chelsea in the semi-finals, with Zidane knowing how to get to the showpiece final having already won the Champions League three times as Real Madrid manager.
The Independent say that were Real Madrid to somehow go on and win the competition, Odegaard is more likely to leave the Bernabeu permanently as a result of Zidane staying in charge.
And so Arsenal will be supporting the Spanish giants when they take on their Premier League rivals in the last eight next month, the first leg taking place in Spain on April 6 with the return tie on April 14 at Anfield.
While Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reflected on Odegaard after the draw against West Ham: “He had an incredible performance, he was very intelligent the way he read the game, the way he affected the game and again he showed how much he wants to win.
“When everyone was a little bit trembling, he gave us that composure on the ball and he created chance after chance.
“I love talented and creative players that all the time are willing to take that ball and make things happen, that are mobile and also hard-working. He is one of them.
“We have some others with different qualities but it’s true that Martin is now giving us a different level on certain things that we didn’t have.
“He’s been showing that from week one. When he steps on to that pitch, he always wants the ball.
“He commands the pressing and he’s been really influential. I think we are all happily surprised because he looks shy and humble but when he steps on that pitch, he is a real character. He loves to play football.”