Real Madrid are reportedly ready to part ways with Martin Odegaard, with Zinedine Zidane now setting his sights on Nicolo Barella.
A recent report from El Gol Digital has shed some light on the future of Martin Odegaard. It appears the playmaker is not happy with the idea of returning to Santiago Bernabeu after the end of the season, with Real Madrid now keeping an eye on Nicole Barella as his desired replacement.
Part of Real Madrid for many years now, Odegaard joined Arsenal on loan in January, in search of regular game-time after seeing his opportunities being limited by Zinedine Zidane during the first half of the campaign.
The Norwegian international has since enjoyed a stellar time at the Emirates, emerging as a key component in Mikel Arteta’s creative department and already forging a solid combination with the likes of Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe. His contributions in the final third have already helped the Gunners reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League this season.
As for Real Madrid, their reunion with Odegaard next season is seemingly unlikely, and their recent interest in Barella could be an ideal indicator.
It appears Los Merengues are readying themselves for a massive overhaul in the summer, with replacing the ageing Luka Modric being a top priority. While Odegaard would have been an ideal option, Barella might not be a bad alternative either for Real Madrid, having emerged as one of the top players for an Inter Milan side who are about to break Juventus’s hegemony in Italian football this season.
The 24-year-old has already notched up 81 competitive appearances for the Nerazzurri since joining the team in 2019, impressing with his versatility and creative prowess. In fact, Barella could be a more fitting replacement for Modric as he is more of a fully-fledged central midfielder, who can work his way around and complement the likes of Toni Kroos and Casemiro in the Real Madrid midfield.
Barella is also more suited to Zidane’s counter-attacking football than the Norwegian international, who usually shines in a possession-based system. Nevertheless, Real Madrid’s pursuit of the Italian international should be a welcome sight for Arsenal as they continue their efforts to retain the services of Odegaard next season.
Although there has been no confirmation over the club’s asking price for the Norwegian, the Gunners certainly won’t mind splashing anything around the €50 million, although they have identified a number of alternatives, including Italian international Manuel Locatelli. As for Real Madrid, it looks like a bid for Barella could be on the cards this summer.