Bengaluru, August 14: Championship giants Aston Villa and Derby County are leading the chase for Real Madrid wonderkid Martin Odegaard, according to reports in England.
The Norwegian playmaker, 19, began to discover his form on an 18-month loan at Eredivisie outfit Heerenveen and Los Blancos chief Julen Lopetegui wants to send him to the Championship next as he believes it will be a good place to develop further. And reports in England claim that Aston Villa and Derby County are the current frontrunners for the Norway wonderkid, with a host of clubs interested.
Odegaard has featured regularly in pre-season for Real Madrid, whom he joined at the age of 15 in 2015. But after struggling to adapt since his move, club chiefs feel he needs more time before being thrown into a high-pressure environment.
The youngster who made history when he made his league debut for Stormsgodset as a 15-year-old, has featured just twice for Real since joining for £3 million in 2015. He was wanted by almost every big club in Europe back then, but chose Real as his destination, a decision that has not gone well for him.
The 19-year-old failed to live up to the hype surrounding him since joining the Champions League holders. However, he did not get too many chances to make his mark for the Champions League holders either.
The attacking midfielder impressed during his spell in Holland after racking up 43 appearances for The Super Frisians scoring four times in all competitions. But his time at the club was cut short last campaign after he suffered a fractured metatarsal five games before the end of the season.
Both Aston Villa and Derby are set to delve into the loan market as they try to spearhead promotion pushes and Odegaard can add a lot of quality to either of the two sides.