Dutch giants Ajax are willing to shell out as much as €20 million in order to sign Norwegian starlet Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid in the summer.
As per a report from Spanish outlet MARCA, Real Madrid attacker Martin Odegaard, who is currently away on loan at Dutch Eredivisie outfit Vitesse Arnhem, has emerged as a summer transfer target for AFC Ajax.
The Norwegian arrived at Real Madrid in January 2015, at a tender age of 15, snubbing interest from a horde of other top clubs. Heralded as a future superstar, Odegaard made his first-team debut for Los Blancos in May 2015, becoming Madrid’s youngest ever debutant at the age of 16.
Odegaard went on to feature just once more for the Merengues after that. He was a regular for Castilla though, making 62 appearances, but failed to make much of an impression, scoring just 5 goals and setting up 8 more.
Following his underwhelming displays, the 20-year-old was loaned out to Dutch side Heerenveen for eighteen months in January 2017, where he once again disappointed, producing returns of 3 goals and 5 assists in 43 appearances.
However, having joined Vitesse at the start of this season, Odegaard seems to have found his mojo back again. In his 25 appearances for the Eredivisie outfit, Odegaard has chipped in with 7 goals and 6 assists, which seems to have caught the eye of Ajax.
The interest could be emanating from recent speculations surrounding the future of star attacker Hakim Ziyech. The Moroccan international has been linked with a summer switch to Chelsea and Odegaard could be eyed as a direct replacement for the 25-year-old in the summer.
The Norwegian too seems to open to the idea of a permanent switch to Netherlands. When quizzed about the interest from Ajax, Odegaard told Voetbal International (h/t MARCA): “Nobody knows what can happen in the future.”
Real Madrid have a wealth of options in attack, with the likes of Gareth Bale, Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior, while they also signed Brahim Diaz from Manchester City in the January transfer window. Brazilian talent Rodrygo will also be joining the club soon as well.
Add to that, club president Florentino Perez remains keen on securing a marquee signing in the next summer window, with Eden Hazard’s name constantly being linked with a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Odegaard’s path to the Real Madrid first-team would be anything but straightforward once he returns from his loan spell. He may not have made the best first impression in Madrid, but the 20-year-old remains a special talent and the report adds that Real do not want to lose him anytime soon.
Another loan move away could be the right way to go about for both parties ahead of next season. But should Odegaard demand a permanent move away, Real Madrid could always insert a buy-back clause, like they did with Mariano Diaz. It remains to be seen how things pan out for the versatile attacker in the coming months.