Arsenal are reportedly set for a winter battle with Tottenham Hotspur for Real Madrid central midfielder Dani Ceballos, according to Dario Gol.
Ceballos, who signed for Real Madrid from Real Betis in the summer, has found his playing time under Zinedine Zidane severely limited. He has recorded just 406 minutes out of 23 matches this season. The lack of playing time has sparked rumours that the 21-year-old is not happy with Zidane and will be looking for a January move in bid to grace the grass more.
The situation has been made worse by Zidane, who he has failed to back up his promises to give Ceballos more playing time, especially after the youngster’s man-of-the-match performance against Alaves in September in which he scored a brace. He has only been given more than 70 minutes on just three occasions this season – against Fiorentina in the Champions League, against Elbar and against Alaves in the La Liga.
The 21-year-old central midfielder is a breed between Aaron Ramsey and Cesc Fabregas. He possesses excellent passing ability and contributes to defensive operations in midfield – something Wenger might find appealing amidst the possibility of losing Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez come January and the recent setback in the chase for PSG’s Julian Draxler.
Getting him would an entirely different matter, however, as Real Madrid have reportedly inserted a €500-million release clause in his contract in bid to deter long-term admirers Barcelona. Despite this, the price can drop to a tenth of that should Ceballos’s patience at Stadio Bernabeo runs out and he asks for a transfer.
The situation has also mobilised Serie A giants Roma and Milan, but a return for Ceballos to home club Real Betis also seems likely.