Martin Odegaard has hit the ground running at Arsenal but a permanent move could be beyond the Gunners.
The Norwegian was signed on loan from Real Madrid in January.
Mikel Arteta was in need of a creative midfielder and Odegaard has quickly acclimatised to the English top flight.
But a permanent switch may hinge on whether Los Blancos are prepared to ignore the player’s £301 release clause.
Arsenal, when negotiating Odegaard’s loan move, did not include an option to buy nor did they settle on any future fee.
That is in stark contrast to Chelsea who were smart enough to include a purchase option when they negotiated with the Spanish side in 2018.
Mateo Kovacic moved to west London on loan before being signed permanently a year later.
Chelsea were able to acquire the player for £40m due to their prior agreement – Arsenal will not have that luxury.
Odegaard’s future first and foremost is likely to depend on whether Zinedine Zidane remains at the Bernabeu.
The Madrid boss has not included the 22-year-old regularly, which forced him to seek pastures new for now.
Zidane’s future could hinge on whether Los Blancos win the Champions League with a last eight tie against Liverpool to come.
Odegaard has previously underlined his desire to make the grade in Madrid having joined them as a teenager.
“Yes, as I have said many times when you sign there, the goal is always to play there,” he told TV2. “It is of course a big dream.”
The Spanish giants do view Odegaard as a “fundamental piece” of their future according to reports.