Rennes coach Christian Gourcuff has explained shutting the door on signing Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard.

The Norwegian teen was hoping to join Rennes on-loan next month, before Gourcuff ruled out the deal.

He explained: “For recruiting, it is done in time. In August, the possibility of him coming had been mentioned. At that time, with the club he was in question, in relation to the strengthening, in relation to the departures as well. It was true that his arrival had been envisaged, but it was quickly closed on the administrative level since it was necessary to wait for his birthday.

“Afterwards, we had contact with the player, he came to visit Rennes, see the environment a little. I met the player, he made a very good impression, he was with his father who has his head on his shoulders, it went very well. After that, recruitment is done intelligently. This is not to say one day yes, one day no. These are things that change over time.

“But, in no case did I say three weeks ago ‘Ødegaard will come to sign for Rennes’. It was not because he was visiting us and I was very happy to meet him, that’s it.

“Our talks were those of responsible people, in relation to his future, because he needs to play, to have a favorable environment and we also because I have the responsibility to have a frank speech towards the player. Things were really clear.”