Martin Odegaard had offers to join Liverpool or Ajax for this season, according to Leonid Slutsky.

Norway international Odegaard joined Real Sociedad on loan from Real Madrid back in July and has impressed for a side sitting fourth in LaLiga. 

The highly rated midfielder signed for Madrid in 2015 but has played just 32 minutes for them in LaLiga, spending the majority of his time away from the club on loan deals.

Last year he played for Slutsky at Eredivisie side Vitesse and his former boss has revealed Premier League giants Liverpool were among those who missed out when Odegaard decided his next move.

"His time at Vitesse has been important to him," Slutsky told EFE.

"He was one of the best players in the Eredivisie and had many offers. Not only from Real Sociedad, but also from Liverpool and Ajax.

"It is an honour to have had a share in the growth of Martin.

"He was in the gym every day and was very careful about his nutrition. He is a super professional, almost a robot. Martin is one of the best professionals I have seen in my life."

Odegaard, now 21, is being tipped to finally break into the Madrid team when he returns to Los Blancos.

"I'm sure Odegaard is ready to play for Real Madrid," Slutsky added.

"He already plays at the highest level and if Real gives him the chance, Martin will win a starting place."

Vitesse have confirmed the signing of former Japan international Keisuke Honda on a short-team contract until the end of the season.

Honda had been without a club since leaving Melbourne Victory, the 33-year-old pleading with Manchester United and former club AC Milan to sign him in September.

However, he has now returned to the Eredivisie - pending the confirmation of a work permit - where he previously spent a season with VVV-Venlo.

Vitesse announced the news on their official website and Honda said: "It has been a while since I played soccer in the Netherlands. 

"Hopefully the football fans in the Netherlands still remember me. Anyway, I will do everything to impress. I want to be important for the team and look forward to playing in the stadium and for the fans."

Honda has previously worked with Vitesse boss Leonid Slutsky at CSKA Moscow.

Proposals for a joint league featuring elite clubs from Netherlands and Belgium have reached a second stage.

The concept has been mooted for a number of years but has now moved a step closer, with a select group of teams from Eredivisie and the Belgian First Division being asked to give their views.

Consultancy firm Deloitte was hired to explore the possibility of a combined league, which would be known as 'BeNeLiga'.

The five top clubs from Belgium (Gent, Club Brugge, Genk, Anderlecht and Standard Liege) met the top six from Netherlands (Ajax, AZ, Utrecht, Feyenoord, PSV and Vitesse) earlier this year, and Dutch football governing body KNVB has confirmed talks were successful enough to continue with the exploration.

A statement on KNVB's official website read: "The clubs involved decided in a first phase to conduct a feasibility study into the theoretical added value of a BeNeLiga.

"This study is also facilitated by the national associations (KNVB and KBVB) for the sake of the broader football interest. That research has since been carried out by Deloitte.

"The results of the first phase confirm that the new BeNeLiga has a potential significant value increase."

The next phase of the investigation will look at a possible format and the impact a new joint league will have on Dutch and Belgian teams.

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