Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane decides the fate of two loanees

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane should be back for another season, even though he felt the hot seat twice in 2020-2021. Despite the lack of a truly competitive squad and a rash of injuries, Zidane has his team in position to compete for the La Liga and Champions League titles. Real may not be the favorites, but they have a fighting chance.

Zidane will have some big decisions to make this summer. Real Madrid need to make upgrades to their attack, and, thus, they are doing their best to make a Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland move happen. But Real must also juggle sales and their increasingly large loan army.

This summer, Real loaned Gareth Bale to Tottenham to offset his salary, and he’s been performing very well in recent weeks. Martin Odegaard joined Real in the summer but then moved back out, joining Bale in North London with rivals Arsenal to get more game time. Odegaard is thriving under Mikel Arteta, to the point where some are wondering if he could prolong his stay.

In an article posted to, acclaimed football insider Fabrizio Romano weighed in on the Gareth Bale and Martin Odegaard situations. Per Romano, Tottenham will “hardy negotiate” to keep Bale due to his wages, which are said to be 30 million euros. And his future depends on Zidane, who does not seem to be keen on the player.

It would be a huge mistake for Zinedine Zidane to ignore Martin Odegaard again

Meanwhile, Romano also states that Zidane will be “decisive” in Odegaard’s case. Arsenal want him around for “another year”, but, of course, he is under contract with Real, who wisely did not even consider a buy-out option on the loan deal.

So Zidane holds the cards. It would be ridiculous for him to snub Odegaard with a transfer. Another year on loan is a possibility, but that depends on an honest conversation between player and manager about the Norwegian’s role in a squad with a 100 percent Luka Modric. Real should be able to find something important for Odegaard, perhaps on the right wing, but a conversation must be had. We know Zidane will be honest. He even turned down Donny van de Beek because he would not lie to the former Ajax midfielder’s role.

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With Bale, I see no chance, unless Zidane’s hands are tied and nobody – not even Major League Soccer – wants him. That happened in 2019 and nearly happened in 2020 before Spurs through Bale a lifeline (and Real Madrid 15 million to cover half of his wages). Bale’s future remains as cloudy as it was before the 2020-2021 season, despite his improvements.