Odegaard 'wanted Real Madrid stay' but 'expected a red carpet there'

Martin Odegaard ‘wanted to STAY at Real Madrid’ but ‘expected a red carpet to a first-team place’… before boss Carlo Ancelotti handed Arsenal’s £30m buy an exit after telling him there were EIGHT players fighting for his position

  • Martin Odegaard sealed a £30m transfer from Real Madrid to Arsenal this week
  • The 22-year-old has left Real after seven years of failing to make the first team 
  • Odegaard reportedly wanted a red carpet at Real after his Arsenal loan last term
  • Carlo Ancelotti told the Norwegian there were eight players in his midfield role

Martin Odegaard expected a straight route to the Real Madrid starting line-up this season before deciding to quit the Spanish giants for Arsenal, according to reports. 

The 22-year-old completed a £30million move to the Emirates Stadium on Friday morning after enjoying a promising loan spell with the Gunners in the second half of last season.

Odegaard returned to Real for pre-season training but was told by Los Blancos manager Carlo Ancelotti that there was healthy competition for places at the LaLiga giants and his spot in the team was not guaranteed. 

Martin Odegaard expected a red carpet treatment at Real Madrid before his £30m move to Arsenal, according to reports

The midfielder (right) spent pre-season at Real after ending his loan spell at Arsenal last term

And according to Spanish news outlet Marca, the attacking midfielder was motivated and hopeful of a future at Real to the point where he was expecting a guaranteed spot in their first-team for the coming season. 

Italian boss Ancelotti, meanwhile, thought very differently about the 22-year-old, claiming that the LaLiga giants’ squad was too bloated for Odegaard to feature regularly.  

The Italian manager said in a press conference last week: ‘The issue of Odegaard is due to a circumstance of the moment. We do not have the stretch to register everyone. Tomorrow it may change. The final date is September 2. 

Carlo Ancelotti (above) told Odegaard there were eight players in his midfield position at Real

‘I have told Odegaard that there are eight players in his position, but it’s not final. He has to choose.’  

Real are close to securing a long-term contract for promising midfielder Fede Valverde while Marco Asensio and Isco are set to feature regularly in an attacking midfield position for the Spanish giants this season. 

Odegaard played 20 times for the Gunners in his four-month loan spell last season, scoring just twice and registering two assists but Mikel Arteta was impressed enough by the Norwegian’s efforts that he came back for the midfielder this summer.

The Norway captain, meanwhile, hit back at critics in the Spanish media who branded him as a failure during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Newspaper Marca, which has close ties to Real and president Florentino Perez, penned a disparaging article about the 22-year-old following his £30 permanent switch to Arsenal, describing him as ‘an economic bonanza but a sporting failure’.

Odegaard recently hit back at claims by the Spanish media that his time at Real was a failure

The Norwegian national team captain played just 11 times for the clubs’ first team, after moving to Real as a highly-rated teenager seven years ago, but revealed that moving on from the Spanish club is for the best. 

‘These days a lot has been said about me and my motivations for leaving. I only want to say that almost everything that is being said is not true,’ he wrote on Instagram.

‘It’s a real shame that the press say things that aren’t true, because many people sincerely think that’s how it is. I have my reasons, I know what the truth is and what happened and that’s why I think this (leaving Madrid) is for the best.’

Odegaard revealed his delight in securing a ‘stable’ move to Arsenal following several loan spells at Vitesse Arnhem, Real Sociedad and the Gunners in recent years – and claimed Arsenal were keen on bringing him back all through the summer window.

Odegaard revealed he had stayed in touch with Mikel Arteta (L) and Edu (R) during the summer

He told the Arsenal’s media team: ‘I’ve been saying for a while that I want to find some stability. I think for young players, it’s good to have that. 

‘I’ve been changing for many teams so to me it’s really good to settle down to come here and get more stability. 

‘I had a good time (on my loan spell at Arsenal earlier this year) so I was always open for it. But when I first started to talk to Madrid after the season they were not too positive about it. But that changed in the last couple of weeks.

‘When I had the chance to come I was happy obviously. We (Arteta and sporting director Edu) were staying in touch over the summer and at the start of the pre-season and we have a good relationship so I think they were happy to see me.’

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