Real Madrid star Martin Odegaard is open to staying at Arsenal beyond his loan spell'

Arsenal chiefs believe loan star Martin Odegaard could be willing to extend his time at the Emirates beyond this season, according to The Times.

The Real Madrid midfielder joined the Gunners on a temporary deal in January and has impressed so far, scoring twice in 12 games for Mikel Arteta's side.

Odegaard helped inspire Arsenal's comeback in their 3-3 draw with West Ham on Sunday and the club are exploring ways in which they can keep him long-term.

The Times claim that the Norway playmaker is open to the idea of remaining in north London, although Real are yet to decide whether to sell him.

Reports in Spain have suggested that the cash-strapped giants would demand around £51million for Odegaard, but they could also choose to loan him out again.

While a permanent deal could prove too expensive for Arsenal, who are also counting the financial cost of the coronavirus pandemic, a fresh loan deal could be an attractive option.

The odds on Arsenal signing Odegaard plummeted with the bookmakers  this weekend following his brilliant display at the London Stadium.

And Arteta made no attempt to hide his admiration for the 22-year-old in his post-match press conference, with fans desperate to keep him beyond this season.

When asked if Odegaard was a 'leader' in the dressing room, the Arsenal boss said: 'Well, he's showing that I think from week one.

'The way he steps on the pitch, he always wants the ball, the way he commands the pressing. He's been really influential.

'I think we've all been a bit surprised because he looks really shy and humble, but when he steps on that pitch he's a real character and he loves to play football.

'I think he was very intelligent the way he read the game, the way he affected the game and again he showed how much he wanted to win.

'When everyone was a little trembling he gave us that stability and 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 the ball and make that happen, that they are mobile and as well hard working. He is one of them.'

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