Ancelotti returning to Madrid
In perhaps the biggest news story of the day, Real Madrid have re-signed Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The 61-year-old has left Everton after eighteen months in charge, returning to the club that he managed for two seasons between 2013-15.
In his farewell message on social media, Ancelotti said:
“I would like to thank Everton FC, my players and the supporters for giving me the opportunity to manage this fantastic and historical club. I decided to leave as I have a new challenge with a team that was always in my heart, Real Madrid.”
Ancelotti will take up the job of rejuvenating an ageing Real Madrid side that performed well below their lofty expectations this season. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are both the wrong side of their prime, while there is concern that Sergio Ramos may not agree terms on a new deal, with his current one expiring at the end of June.
What does this mean for Arsenal?
Arsenal had two players on loan from Real Madrid last season in the form of Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard. Despite having now spent two years in North London, it seems highly unlikely that Arsenal make another move for Ceballos, who flattered to deceive for much of the season.
Odegaard is a completely different prospect however. He is reportedly the Gunners’ top target this summer and would be tasked with providing some much-needed creativity.
The Norwegian captain helped Arsenal improve dramatically in the second half of the Premier League season, and has endeared himself to Arsenal fans with his hard work and keen eye for a pass. It was understood that Zinedine Zidane did not favour Odegaard at all, a fact which made the Gunners confident they could land their man.
However, the managerial change will have had some worried that the new coach could take a shine to Odegaard, effectively making him unattainable to Mikel Arteta’s side.
Fortunately, it does not seem as if that will be the case if Ancelotti’s comments upon signing Odegaard in 2016 are anything to go by.
Speaking to the media, the Italian said:
“He could be the best player in the world, but I don’t care because he was not a player who I asked for. That signing was to do with PR.”
Should Ancelotti still hold this view, Arsenal’s chances of signing Martin Odegaard will surely increase with the ex-Everton boss’ arrival in Madrid.