Arsenal target Martin Odegaard could finally be on his way to British football, six years after Ronny Deila wanted to sign him for Celtic.
BBC Sport report that Arsenal are Real Madrid’s preferred destination for a loan this month, as the young Norwegian looks for regular first-team action.
Odegaard has long been regarded as one of the brightest prospects in European football.
Now 22, he could have once opted to move to the Bhoys in Scotland, rather than pursue a career in Spain.
Celtic were on the hunt for him as a teenager. Then-manager Deila even meeting with the player and his father to convince him of the plan.
Deila told The Daily Record in January 2015 after he agreed on a switch to Madrid: “I’m happy for him. It’s going to be so exciting to see how far he can reach.
“I have spoken to his father – Martin and his father called me the day they chose Real Madrid. I hoped to get him to Celtic, of course. I knew it was going to be hard with all the options.
“I was speaking with him. I met them and talked with them, but I knew all the way that it was going to be very, very hard.
“I have a good relationship with Martin and his father. There are not many times in your life you get the option to go to Real Madrid. So, when you first have the chance, I think it’s good. It’s not going to ruin his career. It can’t be very bad. I understand his choice.”
Martin Odegaard at Celtic could have been special; Arsenal switch will be interesting
It’s a shame Deila’s personal connection couldn’t land the teenager at the time. His progress at Celtic could have been extraordinary.
Although he’s only played 11 times for Real Madrid since joining the club, he’s impressed with loan moves to Vitesse Arnhem and Real Sociedad in the past.
Deila brought through several excellent players at the Bhoys and no doubt he would have nurtured Odegaard’s talent.
Although Deila never quite achieved what many hoped he would as Celtic manager, he did leave a healthy legacy for Brendan Rodgers to build upon.
Spanish outlet AS reports that Martin Odegaard is just hours away from completing his big switch to Arsenal.
Having already won 25 caps with Norway as a teammate of Kristoffer Ajer, he’ll now get his chance to impress in British football, albeit with much more expectation on his shoulders.
Perhaps he’ll be having chats with Kieran Tierney about the Deila days.