Real Madrid list shows contrasting plans for Gareth Bale and Martin Odegaard

The Norwegian playmaker spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal and he is a notable exclusion from Real Madrid’s squad list ahead of the upcoming La Liga campaign

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There is fresh doubt over the future of Martin Odegaard at Real Madrid after he was excluded from the club’s squad list for La Liga.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side get their league campaign underway this weekend against Alaves but there is no space for the Norwegian, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal.

The Gunners maintain an interest in signing the 22-year-old on a permanent basis and will be boosted by his exclusion from the club’s squad, published by La Liga.

Odegaard’s fortunes at the club contrast to Gareth Bale, who has been included in Madrid’s league squad after returning to the Spanish capital from a season on loan at Tottenham.

Martin Odegaard is reportedly unsettled at Real Madrid after returning to the club

Bale will wear the number 18 shirt for Los Blancos next season after his previous number 11 was filled by Marco Asensio during his absence.

Dani Ceballos – who spent the last two seasons on loan at Arsenal – is another player who does not feature in Madrid’s squad, but this is thought to be tied into an injury sustained representing Spain at the Olympics.

The future of the Spanish midfielder at the club is also in question, but he is expected to miss the first few weeks of the campaign due to his recovery.

The notable absence is that of Odegaard, with his exclusion raising eyebrows and leading to suggestions he may be allowed to leave the club permanently this summer.

The midfielder fell out of favour under Zinedine Zidane last season; he started the club’s first two La Liga matches following his return from a loan spell at Real Sociedad but was selected in a league starting XI just once more.

That was due to Madrid’s formation switch back to a 4-3-3, with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro the strongest starting midfield trio with Fede Valverde also rotated into the line-up.

Odegaard prefers a freer role in the ‘number 10’ position between the midfield and attack, but Madrid’s ‘diamond’ midfield formation to accommodate this was swiftly scrapped.

It had been believed that the appointment of Ancelotti may revive Odegaard’s future at the club but his squad exclusion will hasten rumours that he is available for transfer.

Indeed, the Norwegian’s number 21 shirt that he wore last season prior to joining the Gunners has now been inherited by Rodrygo Goes.

Odegaard and Ceballos – alongside defender Jesus Vallejo – are the only players not to be included in Ancelotti’s first-team squad for the upcoming campaign.

Surprisingly, Raphael Varane is included on the list despite both Madrid and Manchester United confirming a transfer agreement for the central defender this summer.

Madrid are aiming to regain their league title following the triumph of cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid last time out.

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