Real Madrid's Martin Odegaard at Rennes ahead of rumoured loan

Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard was in France to watch Rennes on Sunday, increasing speculation that he will join the club on loan in January.

Madrid signed Odegaard in a deal worth up to €8 million in January last year, since when he has played for their Castilla B team in the Spanish third tier.

The 17-year-old Norway international was linked with a loan to Rennes in the summer, but Madrid reportedly decided against that given their appeal against a FIFA transfer ban imposed for breaking youth transfer rules.

That will be less important once Odegaard turns 18 on Dec. 17 -- and a move appears closer after Ouest-France reported that Odegaard was in the crowd at the 1-1 draw between Stade Rennes and Saint Etienne.

He made his first senior start for Madrid in Wednesday's Copa del Rey home win over La Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa, and coach Zinedine Zidane was asked whether he would go out on loan in January.

"That could be [an option] -- we will look at it later," he said. "Odegaard showed he has character and personality. He played a good game."

Ex-Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre, an advisor at Rennes, told Ouest-France last month that the club remained interested in a loan move.

"We've not yet sealed the deal for Odegaard," he said. "We will see in January."