Arsenal have signed Real Madrid attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan until the end of the season.
The 22-year-old Norwegian has struggled to make an impact in Real manager Zinedine Zidane’s squad this season.
Real Sociedad, where Odegaard spent last season on loan, and Eredivisie leaders Ajax were also interested.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “Martin is of course a player we all know very well. Although still young, he has been playing at the top level for a while.”
Arteta said Odegaard will “provide us with quality offensive options” and the Norway international could feature on Saturday in the Premier League against Manchester United (17:30 GMT kick-off).
Speaking about Arteta, Odegaard said: “He seems like a top manager and I liked his ideas, the way he sees football and also the way he is. He gave me a great feeling and that was important for me to come here. He was crucial.
“I think it’s a club that really suits me well.”
Arsenal technical director Edu said the club had brought in an “exceptional talent”.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague said Real Madrid blocked Odegaard going back to Sociedad because they wanted him to move to the Premier League club.
His arrival at Emirates Stadium comes after the departure of playmaker Mesut Ozil to Fenerbahce.
Odegaard joined Real Madrid from Stromsgodset in January 2015 and has played nine times for Real this season.
After returning to the Bernabeu in the summer following his Sociedad loan, it seemed he might become a first-team regular at Real Madrid under Zidane, who coached him in the B team when he first joined the club.
But after starting the first two La Liga games of the season, he has featured only once from the outset of a league game since – on 21 November.
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