Bale could offer Arsenal unlikely lifeline in Odegaard transfer pursuit

Martin Odegaard has impressed on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid this season and the Gunners are keen to sign the midfielder permanently in the summer.

Odegaard appears to have left the door open to a permanent switch, having not been afforded much game time at the Bernabeu by manager Zinedine Zidane.

Speaking at a press conference while on international duty with Norway, the 22-year-old explained: “I haven’t thought about what’ll happen in the summer. The deal with Arsenal is until the end of the season.

“We’ll see what happens this summer. I’ve said things before that I still stand for: stability and development are key words.”

Gareth Bale and Martin Odegaard

The loan deal did not contain an option to buy and Odegaard’s current deal with Real does not expire until 2023, meaning he is likely to command a hefty transfer fee, especially if his good form continues.

Arsenal reported a loss of £47.8m for the financial year earlier this month and it is unlikely that they will be able to spend big in the summer.

However, Real also have their own financial problems, reporting a gross total debt figure of €901m in their latest accounts.

Odegaard has impressed on loan at Arsenal this season

Reports from Spain have outlined the need for Real to offload some of their big earners in order to finance their summer business and Gareth Bale is earning a mammoth £600,000-a-week.

He is currently on loan at Tottenham, who are subsidising half of his wages, but he recently revealed that he intends to return to Real at the end of the season to see out the remaining year of his contract.

Speaking ahead of Wales’ World Cup qualifier against Belgium, Bale said: “The main reason I came to Spurs this year, I wanted to play football first and foremost, but coming into the Euros I wanted to be match fit.

“The original plan was only to do a season at Spurs, then after the Euros, I’ll still have a year left at Madrid and my plan is to go back.

“That’s as far as I’ve planned to be honest.”

With Bale set to return, Real are more likely to be open to selling Odegaard in a bid to balance their books and that may drive down their asking price, making a deal more affordable for Arsenal.

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