Carlo Ancelotti’s 2016 comments on Martin Odegaard provide hope for Arsenal

Carlo Ancelotti has returned to Real Madrid for a second spell following the departure of Zinedine Zidane – and Arsenal could end up benefitting in more ways than one.

The Gunners finished eighth in the Premier League and only two points ahead of the Toffees, losing to the Merseyside outfit at both Goodison Park and the Emirates.

While it is unlikely that Everton will be able to find someone with as impressive a CV as Ancelotti to replace him this summer, his first move in the Spanish capital could benefit a rival.

Mikel Arteta has spoken openly about his desire to keep Martin Odegaard following a positive loan from Madrid, and it doesn't appear that Ancelotti has any intention to keep him.

In his 2016 book, Quiet Leadership: Winning Hearts, Minds and Matches, Ancelotti touched on the signing of Odegaard – and didn't seem at all thrilled by his arrival.

"When Florentino buys a Norwegian footballer, you simply have to accept it," Ancelotti wrote.

"Furthermore, the president decided that he would play three games with the first team as a public relations exercise.

"He could be the best player in the world, but I don't care because he was not a player who I asked for. That signing was to do with PR."

Odegaard signed for Los Blancos in January 2015 after becoming the youngest player to feature in Tippeligaen, and was their youngest ever debutant at 16 and 157 days.

When asked about the future of Odegaard, 22, following the win over Brighton on the final day of the season, Arteta said: "Well we have a very clear and strong opinion on what we would like to do.

"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."

Adding when asked if he was confident: "I don't know. It's not in our hands. I don't know."

While on Norway duty this week, Odegaard was not keen to talk about his future at club level, but admitted that it wasn't ideal that Zidane had left Madrid as he seeks stability.

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