Mikel Arteta’s transfer plans to re-sign Martin Odegaard have been plunged into doubt after Real Madrid lost Dani Ceballos to injury
Arsenal’s hopes of re-signing Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid have been dealt a huge blow following an injury to Dani Ceballos.
Odegaard spent five months on loan at the Emirates Stadium last season and scored twice in his 14 appearances for the north London outfit.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is determined to bring the attacking midfielder back to the club this summer and according to Marca, the player would prefer a move back to north London.
But the LaLiga giants recalled the Norwegian from his loan spell, with new boss Carlo Ancelotti keen to evaluate all of his players before making transfer decisions.
Ceballos also returned to the Spanish capital this summer after a disappointing second season on loan with the Premier League side.
While the Spaniard has committed himself to fighting for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu, Odegaard’s future is less certain.
The playmaker has struggled to impress during pre-season, managing only 30 minutes of action against AC Milan in his most recent outing.
Reports in Spain suggested Ancelotti was keen to give Isco and Ceballos more first-team action this season, with Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde also available to the Italian.
And that would have opened the door for Odegaard to secure either another temporary move to Arsenal or a permanent transfer.
However, Los Blancos confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that Ceballos had suffered a tear in his ankle ligaments while playing for Spain at the Olympics.
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It read: “Following tests carried out on our player Dani Ceballos by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a complete tear in his anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular ankle ligaments.
“His recovery will continue to be assessed.”
While it is not yet known how long he could be sidelined, such an injury is expected to keep him out for several weeks or months, which could have a knock-on effect for Arsenal.
Ancelotti may feel less inclined to let Odegaard leave with Ceballos out of action, with Real not expected to sign any new players this summer.
And that could blow a hole in Arteta’s plans to add to his squad after making three signings in Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares this summer.
The Spanish coach had made his intentions clear to keep Odegaard in his squad for the forthcoming season back in April.
“We have a very clear and strong opinion on what we would like to do,” Arteta told the club’s official website.
“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.
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“Hopefully we have given him the hope and the feeling that this could be a good place for him.”
However, news of Ceballos’ injury means they may have to look elsewhere with the transfer window closes on August 31.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Leicester ’s James Maddison, while Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar remains a target.
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