According to the Express, Arsenal face competition from Manchester City for the signature of Dani Ceballos this summer as the midfielder looks to secure a move away from Real Madrid.
Ceballos joined Arsenal on a season-long loan deal last summer and endured a slow start to life at the Emirates Stadium with injuries and inconsistent form hampering his progress.
However, he has really turned things around and Ceballos has impressed alongside Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park since the restart with the Spaniard being one of our most consistent performances over the past few weeks.
His improvement has persuaded Arsenal to pursue a deal with Madrid this summer with the club hoping to secure another loan or perhaps even sign Ceballos on a permanent basis if the price was right.
Speaking earlier this month, Mikel Arteta praised the midfielder’s improvement and confirmed talks with Madrid are underway to try and secure a deal that would see Ceballos stay at Arsenal.
Arteta is quoted as saying by the Express:
“Yeah, we are talking to the club [Madrid]. Obviously we don’t own the player, he’s not in our hands so the clubs will need to have a communication and see what we can do.
“I’m really happy with him, the way he’s evolving, and I love how much he likes to play football – the passion he puts into every training session and every game, you just have to see his celebrations.
“I think he’s evolving in the right way and he’s becoming a really important player for us.”
The 23-year-old has been told he has no future at the Bernabeu by boss Zinedine Zidane and the Metro suggests that Madrid want at least £22.6m for his signature this summer.
Arsenal will be working on a tight budget, especially if we don’t qualify for the Europa League by winning the FA Cup, so it remains to be seen whether we’ll be able to get a deal agreed with the La Liga champions.
That could open the door for rivals to hijack the move as the Express claims that Manchester City are ready to fight Arsenal over Ceballos’ signature after Pep Guardiola identified him as a target.
City are expected to spend heavily in the market after Liverpool ran away with the Premier League title and they have the finances to blow Arsenal out of the water if they really want to sign Ceballos.
The Spanish international is reportedly happy with life in London and would like to stay with Arsenal beyond this season but he may have his head turned if Guardiola and City come calling.
It would be a real shame if we missed out on Ceballos as he’s developing into a top player for us but I have a feeling we’ll only be able to offer Madrid another loan and they may prefer to do business with City if they put cash on the table.