It is only mid-July and already Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has clashed with the club’s president. This time the topic of disagreement is 17-year-old Martin Odegaard.
Zidane did not want to take the young midfielder on the club’s pre-season tour which has kicked off in Canada but Florentino Perez insisted, in the pair’s first major disagreement since Zidane took over last January.
Perez wants Odegaard on the tour because first team involvement is written into his contract and because his presence in North America will help Madrid find a new club for him this summer.
But although Zidane agrees that the youngster need to go out on loan this season, he was against him joining up when there are no plans to incorporate him in Madrid’s first team squad this season.
French media Le10Sport went as far as to claim Perez ‘imposed Odegaard’s presence on the tour,’ and suggested the French legend was unhappy with what he saw as interference.
Hamburg have shown interest in taking Odegaard to the Bundesliga next season and Liverpool, one of the clubs he turned down when he picked Madrid, have also been linked.
But Real would prefer to send him to another Spanish club and want to provoke interest by giving him a run-out in one of this seasons’s pre-season friendlies.
It has even been suggested that the club will take Odegaard to the European Super Cup final on August 9 because it is being played in his home country, Norway.
Madrid signed Odegaard in January 2015 but hopes that he would be fast tracked to the first team have been dashed by his steady but slow progress in the club’s ‘Castilla’ B-team that was previously coached by Zidane.
Zidane is understood to be keen on promoting youth at Real Madrid but he feels holding midfielder Marcos Llorente and attacking midfielder Marco Asensio, who are both also in Montreal with the squad, are ahead of Odegaard on merit.
REAL MADRID TOUR SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Navas, Casilla, Ruben Yanez, Craninx, Luca Zidane
Defenders: Varane, Danilo, Carvajal, Marcelo, Nacho, Lienhart, Tejero, Achraf
Midlfielders: Casemiro, Isco, Kovacic, Llorente, Asensio, Odegaard, Enzo, Febas
Forwards: Benzema, Jese, Mayoral, Mariano