The long awaited transfer of Norwegian wonderkid Martin Ødegaard to Real Madrid was confirmed shortly after midnight Madrid time, when Real released a statement confirming a deal had been agreed for the players transfer from Strømgodset.
The statement read "The Real Madrid CF and Fotball Stromsgodset have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Martin Odegaard. After undergoing the relevant medical examination, the player will serve the media, accompanied by the Director of Institutional Relations, Emilio Butragueño, today January 22 at 13:30 pm in the press room of Real Madrid." The fee has been reported as €3million for the young Norwegian who only turned sixteen in December.
Ødegaard shot to fame when he made his Strømgodset debut in April under now Celtic manager, Ronnie Deila. His international debut came just four months later in a friendly against the United Arab Emirates. He also became the youngest player to participate in a European Championship match when he came off the bench in Norway's win over Bulgaria in October.
It is thought Ødegaard won't go straight into the first team and will instead join Real Madrid Castilla (Real's B team) in the Segunda B. Castilla are coached by Santiago Sanchez and Real legend, Zinedine Zidane. This way Ødegaard can continue to develop by playing competitive football instead of being reduced to a squad player and missing out on the all important minutes young players need to reach the highest level.
Questions will be asked of whether Ødegaard has made the right decision to join Real and there will be comparisons with former American wonderkid, Freddy Adu. Adu's career never lived up to the early promise and at just twenty-five he has already played for ten different clubs with the most recent being Jagodina of the Serbian SuperLiga. Many close to Ødegaard believe he has the right mentality and determination to succeed at the top level and if he develops into the player many believe he will, €3m could end up being one of the biggest bargains in football history.