Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has revealed he wanted Martin Odegaard to stay at the Bernabeu.
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder spent last season on loan at Real Sociedad and was set to stay with the La Liga side for this campaign.
However, Real cut the deal short, something Zidane has revealed was his idea.
But a lack of game time led to the Norway international asking to leave Real in the winter window.
Zidane has spoken out on Odegaard's departure and revealed he told him to stay and fight for his place.
“Martin wanted to leave, he wanted to have minutes and opportunities elsewhere,” Zidane said at his press conference on Friday.
“We have talked about it two or three times. He is a player who wants to play.
“It was a demand from the player. I told him that he had to stay, fight, have peace of mind, because this is a long process.
“I wanted him back from his loan [at Sociedad] and I told him to stay because the season is still very long & he would have had his chances.
“It has not been the case and in the end it is everyone's decision. I hope he is happy.
“He wanted to leave and play. I really wanted him in my squad.”
Odegaard has made just one appearance so far for Arsenal as a late substitute in the 0-0 draw with Manchester United last Saturday.
This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago