Arsenal’s hopes of re-signing Dani Ceballos for at least another season have potentially been handed a blow with reports claiming Real Madrid are considering keeping him at the club.
Ceballos joined the Gunners on a season-long loan last summer, and despite struggling for form and fitness at times, he really started to shine following the Premier League‘s restart in June, with Mikel Arteta deploying him in a deeper midfield role.
Having helped the club collect a record-extending 14th FA Cup earlier this month, Arteta had expressed his desire to keep Ceballos at the club next season either on loan or on a permanent basis.
However, according to the Evening Standard, Arsenal’s hopes of keeping hold of the midfielder could be dashed with Real Madrid now contemplating keeping the 24-year-old as Zinedine Zidane ‘looks to revitalise his ageing midfield’.
Ceballos has praised the influence of Arteta during his time at Arsenal, though has also always maintained his desire to be a regular for his parent club having not featured in the plans of Zidane during the Frenchman’s previous spell in charge at the Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, reports in Spanish publication AS back up the claims, saying the club’s Champions League exit at the hands of Man City last week was the cause of ‘great disappointment’ to the 13 time winners, with there being a ‘concern’ at the club’s ‘lack of resources’ on the pitch as they failed to make it into the last four for a second successive season.
The La Liga champions are not expected to be big spenders this summer due to the economic effects of the ongoing pandemic as well as their huge outlay on redeveloping the Bernabeu, and the performances of Ceballos, as well as fellow loanee Martin Odegaard, are being considered as solutions to freshen up the squad.
The report adds that while members of the Real Madrid hierarchy are convinced that Ceballos has what it takes to succeed, it will be Zidane who will ultimately have the final say.