OA former Arsenal head of youth scouts, Steve Morrow, has claimed that Martin Odegaard turned down a transfer to the club while Arsene Wenger was still manager.
The Norwegian was one of the most in-demand youngsters in Europe, when he made his Stromsgodset debut at age 15.
Now Morrow has claimed that Arsenal made their move to sign Odegaard six years ago.
“I scouted him for the first time when he was 14 years old and I was amazed by his talent, his technical level and his intelligence for such a young player, ”Morrow told The Times.
“I worked hard, explored Martin for 18 months, and got very close to him and his family.
“We had permission from Stromsgodset to invite the player and it was up to us and Real Madrid. We roll out the red carpet.
“He met up with Arsene, we invited him to dinner and we really showed the club.
“We had a holistic approach, not only developing the player as a footballer but as a human being and teaching him good values, you will learn to cook, to visit hospitals, to do things in the community.
“Martin greatly impressed everyone, including Arsene. We were very, very close to signing him before he made the late decision to go to Real Madrid. ”
Odegaard finally ended up at Arsenal, joining this January on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season.