ARSENAL boss Mikel Arteta has hinted he wants to KEEP Martin Odegaard boyond the end of his loan spell by saying he wants to 'take that relationship forward'.
The 22-year-old is with the Gunners until the end of the season after joining from Real Madrid in January.
And the Danish international is slowly beginning to find his feet in four appearances so far.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal's home clash against league leaders Manchester City, Arteta appeared hopeful a deal could be done.
He said: “We have Martin for a few months from Real Madrid and first of all we have to maximise this time with him to try to bring to the team all the qualities he has.
“At the end of the season we will sit together and decide where we can take that relationship forward. At the moment it doesn’t just depend on us.”
“On the pitch he is showing a lot of character and a lot of intelligence,” Arteta said. “They are characteristics that a leader should have.
“He has been here a very short time but he has adapted very quickly. He is getting more and more respect from the players and the staff and his weight on the team will increase with every week.”
Odegaard made just nine appearances for Zinedine Zidane's side in the first half of the 2020-21 campaign.
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And while Real Madrid still fully intend for the Norwegian international to return in the summer, his recent comments appear to suggest he may have other plans.
Odegaard said: "You never know what happens, but first of all my focus is about the rest of the season.
"Hopefully (I will) help the team, and then we’ll see what happens."
According to reports from Defensa Central, his comments have annoyed those at Madrid.
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