Chelsea can deal Arsenal a major transfer blow by gazumping them to sign Norwegian playmaker Martin Odegaard this summer.
The silky playmaker spent the second half of the 2020/21 campaign on loan with the Gunners, featuring 20 times before returning to parent club Real Madrid at the end of June.
Chief executive Edu was thought to be considering attempting to make a move again this summer for the 22-year-old but Odegaard seemed to quash any links of him returning to the Emirates Stadium this summer after sending the north London club a farewell on social media.
“@Arsenal, Thank you so much for these 6 months”, Odegaard told his Instagram followers earlier this month.
“My time with the Arsenal family will always hold a special place in my heart.
“I wanna [sic] thank everyone in and around the club for the way you made me feel like a part of the family since the first day. Special thanks to the fans, even without you guys at the stadium for the majority of the season, I felt you with me at all times.
“A huge thank you to the boss and his staff for everything I’ve learned during my stay. Thank you also to all my teammates for such a great time on and off the pitch.
“Will miss you all. Thank you, gunners family. Always in my heart.”
However, as reported by football.london earlier this week, Arsenal have not given up on signing Odegaard amid reports that the midfielder could still leave Real Madrid this summer.
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Still, the report claims that Thomas Tuchel’s side are unlikely to make a move for the creative midfielder unless they sell Moroccan playmaker Hakim Ziyech, who joined from Dutch outfit Ajax last summer.
Chelsea have beaten their rivals to a sought-after midfielder in the past, having signed Spanish maestro Cesc Fabregas in the summer of 2014 after the Gunners had shown interest in signing their former star..