Real Madrid: Ajax targeting wonderkid Martin Odegaard after impressive Dutch loan spell
The Norwegian international burst onto the scene at 16, conducting a European tour of auditions at many of the continent’s biggest clubs before signing for the Bernabéu club.
But things didn’t go as planned for Odegaard, who was earning an elevated wage and had clauses in his contract stipulating he had to train with the first team.
Separated from Madrid’s ‘Castilla’ squad, Odegaard became alienated from the players he was supposed to get regular action with and struggled to get in first-team squads.
The solution was to loan him out, with spells at Eredivisie clubs Heerenveen and now Vitesse Arnhem.
And after impressing at Vitesse, Odegaard has caught the eye of Ajax.
The Champions League semi-finalists are expected to lose much of the talented squad that have helped them into the final four of European football’s premier club competition.
Frenkie De Jong has signed for Barcelona and Matthijs De Ligt will also leave the club. Hakim Ziyech, David Neres and Nicolas Tagliafico are also being linked with moves away.
Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars has begun the process of restocking his squad by signing ‘the Romanian Xavi’ Razvan Marin and Heerenveen starlet Kik Pierie.
Odegaard is next on the list, though the 20-year-old midfielder may need to take a pay cut to rekindle his career in Amsterdam.