As reported by Sportsmail, Gunners technical director Edu began negotiations last week for the 22-year-old, but Arsenal face stern competition from Real Sociedad and Sevilla.
Odegaard is keen to leave during the January window to gain more minutes and was left out of Zinedine Zidane’s squad as they fell to an embarrassing Copa del Rey defeat at minnows Alcoyano on Wednesday night, but Arteta would not be drawn on whether he could end up in north London.
Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard has been linked with an Arsenal loan move during this window
‘I cannot comment about players that play for different clubs,’ he said.
Arteta admitted he is looking for reinforcements but said this unique period made the club ‘cautious’ and ‘careful’ in their transfer business.
‘We are looking at various positions because the movement we made in this transfer window with some players leaving the club leaves us a little bit short in certain areas. If we can we will do it, if we can’t, we’ll just keep going with what we have,’ he said.
Gunners manager Mikel Arteta refused to be drawn on the club’s interest in the Real midfielder
Sokratis, whose contract was cancelled, and Mesut Ozil are among those leaving a bloated squad which Arteta said had become ‘unmanageable’.
Ozil, who had spent months in exile under Arteta, is heading to Fenerbahce but quarantine rules are delaying the completion of that deal.
‘He’s a great footballer, a really talented footballer, a player that’s done a lot for the football club,’ Arteta said.
‘But at the moment I want to take the team in a different direction and if we had more options, maybe he was part of some plans.’
Arteta spoke about the departing Mesut Ozil, he said ‘he’s a player that’s done a lot for the club’
Ozil poses with a Fenerbahce scarf ahead of completing his move from Arsenal
One player who Arteta remains determined to keep, however, is Folarin Balogun. The 19-year-old’s contract is up in the summer and reports suggested he was close to agreeing a deal with a foreign club.
Arteta insists he is not aware of any developments. Instead he said competition for places is to blame for the forward’s recent absence.
‘Regarding his contractual situation with the club, I just want to convince him he has a future at the club, not sending the opposite message,’ Arteta said.
‘He’s showing a real hunger and desire to be with us and we’re trying to get something done because we want him to stay.’