Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos is set to complete his loan deal at Arsenal until the end of the season despite been linked to a move to Valencia. The 23-year-old is seeking regular playing time ahead of this summer’s European Championship.
Ceballos joined Arsenal on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid last summer but he has made just 11 Premier League appearances. The Spaniard is said to be keen on returning to Spain in order to join a club where he will play regular first-team football. He has only contributed two assists against Burnley and a goal in the Europa League this season.
The midfielder has been linked to Valencia and Real Betis, where he played between 2014-17 before moving to Santiago Bernabeu. It was learned that Madrid blocked Ceballos from making a loan move to Valencia. According to reports, Madrid don’t want him to sign for their rivals on loan as they believe they will be strengthening them in their chase for the La Liga title.
After a promising start at the Emirates, the midfielder has failed to play a single minute since November 6 for the Gunners. He missed nine Premier League games due to a muscle tear injury but is now back to full fitness. He has so far been overlooked by new manager Mikel Arteta.
According to AS, Ceballos, who played 21 minutes in the 2-1 FA Cup win against Bournemouth on Monday, wants to fight for a starting place in the team. The Spaniard was named player of the tournament at the 2017 European Under-21 Championship. He has, however, failed to convince Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane in the two seasons he spent at Santiago Bernabeu despite making 34 appearances and scoring three goals.
Earlier in the month, Ceballos had dropped a hint that he could leave Arsenal at the end of his loan stint after posting a message on social media to teammate Hector Bellerin.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had said that he doesn’t know if Ceballos would return to Madrid after failing to make an impact during his loan spell at Arsenal. The manager is said to have deemed the midfielder surplus to requirements, despite appearing to offer his compatriot a lifeline earlier this month.
Arteta said: “I haven’t seen much of him because he only trained with us for a week or 10 days.
“I heard about all those things [returning to Madrid] but I have nothing to comment.”
“It’s true that I have players in that position who have been performing really well, and last week when I believed that he was ready to step in, I decided to pick another player,” he added.