Jokin Aperribay, president of the Real Sociedad, predicts that Martin Odegaard will remain at the club, rather than return to Real Madrid ahead of next season.
The Norwegian talent is linked to a return to the Spanish capital, but the president believes that the attacker will remain at his present club.
Sociedad legend Roberto Lopez Ufarte nonetheless claims that Odegaard can claim a first-team spot in Real Madrid, probably ahead of veteran midfielder Luka Modric.
“I think he has his head screwed on and he knows why he came here: to show people, to show that he has a lot of ability and that he is waiting for a spot to open up at Real Madrid,” Ufarte told Noticias de Gipuzkoa.
“These are just my thoughts, but possibly in the next year when Modric leaves.
“Possibly, as he has said many times, he is here for two years. They might leave him here because it’s down to the club who pays him, which is not just Real Sociedad but Real Madrid.
“If you ask anyone who the most important players at La Real are, they will say, Odegaard, [Alexander] Isak and [Mikel] Oyarzabal but Odegaard will always be in the first place.
“He has almost all of the tools to play in midfield. We won’t just speak about his technique, which is exquisite, and he knows the exact moment when he has to do something and when to give the ball but what also stands out is his recoveries and pressures. Because the first one to put the central defenders under pressure is him.
“If you pushed me to find one, maybe he holds onto the ball a bit much but they are at the right moments when he thinks the best thing to do is hold onto the ball to let his team-mates get free, but he is a player with talent, he knows what is best for him and for the team above all.”
However, Aperribay maintains that the player can be convinced to stay with them for longer.
“I think Odegaard is going to stay at Real. It is what I believe and the hope we have,” he toldon Tuesday.
“When you stay at Real, if you stay, you have to be convinced, like when he came last year. Convinced that it is the best option for next season. The decision is up to him and I think he will stay.”
Odegaard, 21, joined Sociedad last year on a one-season loan deal, although it is reported that there is an option to extend that for another campaign.
He scored seven goals and provided eight assists in 28 games this season before the coronavirus pandemic caused the campaign to be suspended.
He helped Sociedad reach the final of the Copa del Rey, where they are due to face Athletic Club Basque rivals, but Aperribay is not clear when the decision-maker match might be held.
“It is not easy to organise a final in a short time. I see that as impossible. We have no knowledge of any date,” he said. “It is not easy to imagine that scenario now – that of a final with an audience before the end of the season.”