According to Norwegian football journalist Arilas Ould-Saada, Tottenham Hotspur made a move to bring Martin Odegaard to North London on loan for the rest of the season, but the player chose their bitter rivals Arsenal instead.
The Norwegian international joined the Gunners temporarily from Real Madrid after struggling for playing time at the Santiago Bernabeu this term, making just nine appearances across all competitions.
Real Sociedad were also interested in bringing back Odegaard on loan after impressing last season, but he was keen to join Arsenal instead.
Spurs are likely to end the January transfer window without any new additions, and while missing out on the 22-year-old would have been disappointing, it would not give head coach Jose Mourinho sleepless nights.
Dele Alli has been linked with a loan move to Paris Saint-Germain, but chairman Daniel Levy is not keen to sanction a deal if a replacement cannot be signed.
Tottenham were probably looking at Odegaard as a potential like-for-like replacement for the England international, and the Madrid man could have been a perfect addition to their squad.
Nevertheless, Mourinho is not short of options in attacking midfield, and the Portuguese will now be looking forward to the summer transfer window to strengthen his squad.
While Alli has not impressed him yet, the England international still has the chance of getting back into the starting XI if he can take a leaf out of Tanguy Ndombele’s books.
The Frenchman struggled under Mourinho last term but has since established himself as a key player at Spurs after working hard to meet the boss’ demands.
Arsenal would be pleased to have pipped Tottenham to Odegaard’s signature, and it will be interesting to see whether the youngster can impress in the English top-flight after struggling to force his way into manager Zinedine Zidane’s plans.