Arsenal could step up their interest in Martin Odegaard after Real Madrid indicated they are willing to sell the midfielder for a lower fee than first thought, sources have told ESPN.

Odegaard spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal and would be open to a return to the Premier League.

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The 22-year-old has been left out of Madrid’s squad for their opening LaLiga game against Alaves and have indicated they are prepared to do business for a fee in the region of €45 million.

Arsenal are expected to explore the possibility of a deal having been in the market for a creative midfielder all summer.

They have already sounded out Lyon over Houssem Aouar and Leicester regarding James Maddison, partly in the belief Madrid would not allow Odegaard to return to north London this season.

Madrid subsequently indicated they were willing to listen to offers for Odegaard north of €60m but sources claim the club have now softened their stance.

Sources added that Arsenal informed intermediaries they would need to sell a midfielder before strengthening that area of the team.

Joe Willock is expected to complete a £25m move to Newcastle in the next 24 hours, freeing up space and adding funds for Arsenal to pursue one of their targets.

Manager Mikel Arteta hinted at a news conference on Thursday that they were still looking to make further additions after the arrivals of Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares.

“The club, the owners and myself, we all have the same interests, which is to make this team much stronger and we know that we still have things to do to get what we want,” he said.

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