Real Madrid have beaten off fierce competition from Europe’s other top clubs to sign 16-year-old Norwegian wonderkid Martin Oedegaard from Stroemsgodset, the Spanish giants confirmed on Thursday.
Oedegaard had been linked with Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Liverpool and Ajax amongst others after visiting the training facilities across Europe in recent months. However, he has opted for a move to the Santiago Bernabeu which will cost the European champions up to a reported €4 million (USD $4.6 million, £3.1 million).
“Real Madrid and Stroemsgodset have reached an agreement for the transfer of Martin Oedegaard,” read a statement on Real’s website. Oedegaard will undergo a medical and be formally presented in front of the media later on Thursday.
It is expected he will start his Madrid career under the orders of French legend Zinedine Zidane in the Real Madrid B team which plays in the third tier of Spanish football.
The left-footed prodigy burst into the spotlight less than a year ago when he became the youngest player to appear and score in the Norwegian Premier League, managing five goals and seven assists in 23 games.
Videos of the young player running rings around opponents have gone viral and soon came to the attention of Norway’s national team. In August, Oedegaard wore Norway’s red and blue shirt for the first time in a friendly against United Arab Emirates, aged just 15 years and 253 days, a national record.
In October, he became the youngest player ever to appear in a UEFA EURO qualifier, coming on as a substitute in a match against Bulgaria.
“He has developed enormously in a short time. He brought down barriers that I think neither he nor anyone else imagined would fall,” Norway manager Per-Mathias Hoegmo told the Aftenposten daily. “His way of playing, his talent, his ability to make choices and think, all of this is impressive,” he added.
Oedegaard is just the latest teen prodigy to be snapped up by Real. Last month 16-year-old Dutch forward Mink Peeters was signed from Ajax, whilst 18-year-old Marco Asensio has already agreed a deal to join from Mallorca at the end of the season.