Arsenal have been handed a transfer boost with the news that Dani Ceballos is close to returning to the club on a second season-long loan deal, the Real Madrid midfielder having impressed after spending last season at the Emirates.
Ceballos moved to the Premier League in search of regular first-team football last summer and after an indifferent period established himself as a key figure following Mikel Arteta’s arrival as manager, the Spaniard flourishing under his compatriot as Arsenal secured FA Cup success with victory over Chelsea.
Reports had suggested that the 24-year-old could remain with Real Madrid this season as the club look to overhaul an ageing midfield, but according to the Guardian, the two clubs have held productive talks over Ceballos returning to England on a similar arrangement ahead of the new campaign.
Ceballos enjoyed his time with the Gunners and is keen to play regularly to earn his inclusion in the Spain squad ahead of next summer’s European Championships, with the playmaker having thrived in a deeper and more combative role under Arteta towards the end of last season.
The Spaniard played as part of a two-man midfield pivot alongside Granit Xhaka and the deeper role allowed him greater influence on proceedings, Arsenal’s strong end to the season and FA Cup success earning the club Europa League qualification and raising optimism ahead of next season.
Ceballos is believed to have turned down other offers from clubs in both Italy and Spain to return to Arsenal, with another loan spell at the Gunners his only option should he leave Real Madrid on another temporary deal.
Arsenal are planning to announce soon the ‘coming back’ of Dani Ceballos after he turned down three loan bids [from Italy and Spain]. “Only Arsenal” was his answer. Simple loan from Real Madrid. Contracts signed for Gabriel – no problem, it’s 100% done. ⚪️🔴 #AFC #Arsenal #Real
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 31, 2020
Ceballos is set to become Arsenal’s fourth major signing of the summer, Arteta’s rebuild having included the permanent arrivals of loanees Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares, in addition to the free transfer capture of Willian from London rivals Chelsea.
The north London side are also close to completing a deal for highly-rated Lille defender Gabriel Maghalaes and continue to be linked with a move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, though further funds may need to be raised via sales with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and Matteo Guendouzi amongst those reportedly surplus to requirements.