Arsenal want Real Madrid’s Odegaard on permanent deal

The January transfer window may seem like a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves is heating up, so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Arsenal push to keep Odegaard

Arsenal will push to keep Martin Odegaard at the Emirates beyond the summer, according to The Daily Mail.

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The Norway youngster, 22, is on loan from Real Madrid and has made a real impact in the last few weeks — most recently with his performance in the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.

He scored the equaliser which set his side on to a 2-1 win over their local rivals on Sunday, following on from his impressive outing against Olympiakos in the Europa League three days earlier.

As a result of that, the Gunners will be discussing either a loan extension or a permanent move with Real toward the end of the season.

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08.48 GMT: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has denied any talk of a rift between him and Raheem Sterling after the forward’s recent spell out of the team.

Sterling was an unused substitute in last Wednesday’s 3-0 winover Southampton, and then then was left of the squad altogether for Saturday’s 5-2 win at Fulham.

The England international tweeted on Sunday to insist there was nothing behind his recent omissions, and Guardiola reiterated the point on Monday.

“Always Raheem and all the players train and react really well. I don’t expect them to be happy the guys who don’t play and the guys who are not selected. It’s normal, it’s always happened since football was created,” Guardiola told a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League round-of-16 second leg against Borussia Monchengladbach. “Raheem has been so important and is so important for the team and for all of us.”

“All the players respect my decisions. I’ve not found one player in my career in 14 years as a manager who is happy when he is not playing. Never, ever. But they react really well and behave really well.

“He doesn’t need to do it [dismiss the rumours on Twitter]. Nothing happened. He was not selected, that’s all.”

08.00 GMT: Zinedine Zidane has apparently opened the door to a possible Real Madrid return for Cristiano Ronaldo as speculation continues about the Juventus forward’s future.

“Maybe,” Zidane told Sky Sport Italy when asked about Ronaldo ahead of Madrid’s Champions League round-of-16 second leg with Atalanta. “We know Cristiano, the person he is and what he did here. But he’s a Juventus player… We’ll see what happens in the future. I was lucky to coach him. He’s really impressive.”

Zidane had previously been tight-lipped when asked about the chances of re-signing the Portugal international, who is Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer after a stellar nine-year spell at the Bernabeu.

The team has seen a notable drop in their efficiency in front of goal since his departure, with only Karim Benzema reaching double figures in La Liga this season.

ESPN has reported that Madrid are currently waiting to see how the team finishes the season — as well as their financial situation — before decisions are made on signing a forward this summer.

PAPER TAK (by Harry Kettle)

Benzema defers to Real on deal

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has made it clear he’s happy to speak with the club over a possible contract renewal, says AS.

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Benzema has been setting the standard for forward excellence at the club for over a decade now and even though he currently has a deal that lasts until 2022, he’s willing to renegotiate with the club to avoid any lingering concerns heading into the summer and beyond.

“I go day by day,” Benzema said on Monday. “I enjoy every training session, every game. I have a contract until 2022, but my door is open if the president wants to renew me. This is the best club in the world.”

Rudiger set for Chelsea talks

Chelsea are set to begin talks with Antonio Rudiger over a possible contract renewal, The Mail reports.

The 28-year-old defender has been at Stamford Bridge since 2017, but as he prepares to enter the final year of his deal the hope from the Blues is that they can avoid any drama by getting him to sign straight away.

The initial idea from Chelsea, says the story, is to open discussions after the Euros, but in a proactive move Thomas Tuchel now wants to do secure a new deal before the tournament in order to put Rudiger’s mind at ease.


– Internazionale youngster Alessandro Bastoni is set for talks over a contract extension with the club, Calciomercato reports. The 21-year-old has recently emerged as one to watch in the midst of Inter’s title surge and even though his current deal takes him through to 2023, the club wants to lock him down to fresh terms.

– O Dia is reporting that Ajax are invested in a potential move for Flamengo goalkeeper Hugo Souza. At the age of just 22, he already seems to have the confidence of a veteran keeper and Flamengo have rewarded that reliability with a bumper new. However, Ajax are happy to wait for a year or two, to the point where they will send members of their backroom squad to watch him play in person in order to see how he develops.


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