North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are set for a summer transfer battle for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, who is valued at €50 million.
According to a report from Spanish publication AS, Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has emerged a subject of serious transfer interest from Premier League heavyweights Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, after his starring performances in the ongoing U-21 European Championship for Spain.
Ceballos has been with Real Madrid since 2017, having arrived from Real Betis, but hasn’t been able to nail down a starting berth at the Santiago Bernabeu. The 22-year-old midfielder has made 56 appearances for Los Blancos till date, netting five goals and setting up two more.
The 2018-19 campaign saw Ceballos take the field on just 34 occasions, only 13 of which were starts in the La Liga. The midfielder does not feature heavily in manager Zinedine Zidane’s plans and with Real Madrid eyeing a move for Manchester United superstar Paul Pogba, the club would want to offload a midfielder in order to make room for the Frenchman.
According to the report, Ceballos is open to a move away from Real Madrid, although he is seeking a season-long loan. However, Real Madrid want to offload him on a permanent basis in order to balance their books, having splashed the cash in this transfer window.
Tottenham Hotspur have been long-term admirers of Ceballos and have expressed an interest in securing his services this summer. Spurs have failed to replace Mousa Dembele months after his departure and they could also be losing star playmaker Christian Eriksen this summer, which would leave them short on numbers in the middle of the park.
Having not signed a single player in the last three transfer windows, Tottenham are ready to spend this time out and while Ceballos is on their radar, they are also monitoring Olympique Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele and Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso. But, Ceballos, who is valued at €50 million, could prove to be the cheapest of the three options for Spurs.
However, Tottenham will have battle with arch-rivals Arsenal, who have joined the pursuit of the Spaniard. The Gunners lost Aaron Ramsey to Juventus on a free transfer and manager Unai Emery is keen on bolstering the midfield department ahead of the next season. PSG’s Christopher Nkunku has been linked with a move to Arsenal, but Ceballos has also emerged as a target.
Real Madrid’s valuation of €50 million could prove to be a stumbling block for Arsenal though, given that they are operating on a tight budget of £40 million. But, they are expected to raise money by selling some of their players, with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan likely to be shown the exit door, along with Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny.
It seems like Ceballos is likely to be on his way out Real Madrid this summer, although the Merengues want to insert a buy-back clause in any potential sale. However, it remains to be seen if the 22-year-old moves to either of Arsenal or Tottenham, or joins some other club altogether.