Real Madrid are counting on Odegaard for next season and will call him back from Arsenal

Real Madrid are counting on Odegaard for next season and will call him back from Arsenal

Real Madrid will not allow Martin Odegaard to extend his stay at Arsenal beyond the end of this season, according to a new report in Spain.

The Norwegian joined the Gunners on loan in January and has made 14 appearances so far, helping Mikel Arteta's men reach the Europa League semi-finals.

Arsenal are keen to keep hold of Odegaard for next season, with a a fresh season-long loan deal their most likely option due to the club's financial constraints.

However, Spanish publication AS claim Real have no intention of letting him remain in north London and are 'counting on' the Norwegian for the 2021-22 campaign.

They say the decision for Odegaard to return to Spain this summer has already been made, with recent problems only highlighting the need for him to rejoin the squad.

The age of Luka Modric, who will be 36 in September, is said to be an issue, with recent injury problems for the former Tottenham star and his midfield partner, Toni Kroos, also mentioned.

AS suggest that Zinedine Zidane believes it was a mistake to allow Odegaard to leave on loan due to the shortage of fit options available to him over the last three months.

They say he will 'definitely take the baton' from Real's ageing midfielders next term after struggling for minutes under Zidane at the start of the season.

Odegaard has made a positive impact during his spell with Arsenal, scoring twice and impressing in an attacking midfield role - especially in the 3-3 draw with West Ham last month.

Speaking about the Norway star after that game at the London Stadium, Arteta said: 'Well, he's showing that (he's a leader) 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.'

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