Arsenal are concerned that Real Madrid could significantly increase their valuation of Martin Odegaard ahead of the summer transfer window, according to reports.
The Norwegian midfielder has thoroughly impressed for the Gunners since joining on loan from Los Blancos three months ago, chipping in with two goals from 12 appearances in all competitions.
Arsenal are reportedly keen to land the 22-year-old on a permanent basis at the end of the campaign, with his presence in the middle of the park successfully addressing the lack of creativity within Mikel Arteta ‘s ranks.
However, the north London outfit could be forced into paying over the odds in order to secure his signature.
Club chiefs are worried that Real could demand as much as £50million to part ways with Odegaard, according to the Daily Star.
The report claims that the Spanish giants valued their man at around £30m prior to shipping him out on loan, suggesting that his asking price may have almost doubled during his short stint in the capital.
Odegaard could be in line to seek a summer exit if Zinedine Zidane remains in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu into next season and beyond.
The former Heerenveen man grew tired with Zidane’s reluctance to provide him with first-team opportunities during the first half of the campaign.
Although a move away from Real in the near future appears to be a possibility, Arsenal are unlikely to be the only side vying for the playmaker’s signature.
The report also suggests that the Gunners could face stiff competition from the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.
There are questions over whether they would be able to compete financially with the other interested parties, especially the French champions, amid the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
However, it is claimed that last year’s FA Cup winners remain in pole position, with Odegaard and Arteta enjoying a positive and successful working relationship.
The youngster was one of Arsenal’s best performers during the thrilling 3-3 draw at West Ham United before the international break, earning plaudits for his influence in helping the Gunners to claw back from 2-1 down.
Arteta had nothing but praise for the Real loanee after the final whistle, with his assessment suggesting that a permanent approach could be high on the Spaniard’s list of priorities during of the summer months.
“I think he had an incredible performance,” Arteta told the club website.
“He was very intelligent the way he read the game, the way he affected the game and again he showed how much he wants to win.
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“When everyone was a little bit trembling, he gave us that composure on the ball and he created chance after chance.
“I love talented and creative players that all the time are willing to take that ball and make things happen, that are mobile and also hard-working. He is one of them.
“We have some others with different qualities, but it’s true that Martin is now giving us a different level on certain things that we didn’t have.”