Martin Odegaard will leave Real Madrid on loan this summer after his newly-appointed manager Rafael Benitez decided it was in the 16-year-old's best interests to gain first-team experience elsewhere next season.
This is according to Spanish newspaper AS, who understand Benitez is keen for the talented Odegaard to get plenty of minutes under his belt before returning to the Bernabeu.
Due to the intense competition for first-team places at Real Madrid, Odegaard will barely feature under Benitez if he stays put next season. And rather than continuing with Real Madrid Castilla - the club's reserve side - Benitez would prefer the Norway international to gain some valuable experience out on loan.
Villarreal, who finished the 2014-15 campaign in sixth place, are one of several clubs interested in securing Odegaard's services on a temporary basis.
Real Madrid, however, may opt to send the left-footed teenager to either Malaga or the newly-promoted Real Betis instead.
Odegaard a long way from the finished article
At this stage it's unclear whether any Premier League clubs are interested in Odegaard - they certainly were before he signed for Los Blancos in January - but Real Madrid will only send him to a club that is prepared to make him a first-team member from the start of next season.
Odegaard had to wait until the final day of the season before making his Real Madrid first-team debut - coming on as a second-half substitute, for Cristiano Ronaldo, in a 7-3 demolition of Getafe.
While the Norwegian is undoubtedly talented, he has a long way to go before he becomes the finished article. But it's crucial that he's playing - anywhere - rather than sitting on the Real Madrid subs' bench next season.
Disagreement with Real Madrid
Odegaard has failed to flourish with Real Madrid Castilla under Zinedine Zidane, but disagreements between the player and the club have not helped matters.
Real Madrid failed to adhere to a clause in Odegaard's contract which stipulated the youngster must train with the club's senior squad five days a week.
Coaches at the Bernabeu felt it would be more beneficial for Odegaard to continue his development with the Castilla squad, but this angered both Odegaard and his father, who were effectively made false promises by the Spanish giants.
Relations between Odegaard, his father and Real Madrid have improved since then, however, and they may agree that a loan deal away from the Bernabeu is in the best interests of all parties this summer.
Will Martin Odegaard turn out to be a world-class talent - or is he another overhyped teenager? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!
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