Early Arsenal exit for unhappy Ceballos could be 'complicated' by Real Madrid talks

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Dani Ceballos Arsenal 2019-20
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The midfielder - on loan from Los Blancos - has yet to feature under Mikel Arteta and is seeking regular game time

Dani Ceballos is hoping to secure a move away from Arsenal this month.

The midfielder joined the Gunners on loan last summer form Real Madrid and is due to spend the season in north London before heading back to the Spanish capital.

But his lack of game time under new Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has forced him to explore the option of moving elsewhere to ensure he stays in contention for Spain’s Euro 2020 squad.

When agreeing to join Arsenal in the summer, Ceballos was assured by former Gunners head coach Unai Emery that he would be a regular starter throughout the season.

And the initial signs were positive when Ceballos played a starring role in Arsenal’s 2-1 win against Burnley on his full debut in August, setting up both goals.

But even under Emery he soon found himself in and out of the side, making just seven starts in the Premier League before suffering a hamstring injury at the start of November which ruled him out of action for nearly two months.

The midfielder is now fit again, but he has yet to play a single minute of football under Arteta - finding himself as an unused substitute in the games against Manchester United, Leeds United, Sheffield United and Chelsea.

Speaking about his plans for Ceballos earlier this month, Arteta said: “I know him really well from Spain. I watched him many, many times. He always wants the ball, he has big personality to play.

Dani Ceballos Arsenal 2019-20

“I like him, he is a player that can fit our style and now he needs to make a step forward and make things difficult for me and my selection.”

Arteta added: “It’s true that I have players in that position who have been performing really well, and when I believed that he was ready to step in, I decided to pick another player. But he’s been training good, I’m happy with him so there’s no issues there.”

Ceballos has grown increasingly concerned about his lack of game time, however, with the 23-year-old desperate to keep his place in Spain’s squad for this summer’s Euros.

Arsenal are aware of his desire to play regular football, and Valencia are believed to be interesting in signing the midfielder for the rest of the season.

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But whilst the north London club are understating of Ceballos position, it is not guaranteed that he will be allowed to go as his departure would leave Arteta short of midfield options for the remainder - especially as Emile Smith Rowe has already been loaned to Huddersfield Town.

An agreement would also need to be reached with Real Madrid over cutting Ceballos’ loan short, with the two clubs having committed to a payment structure for the player’s 12-month stay in England last summer. One source told Goal those discussions with the Spanish giants could be 'complicated'.

In all, Ceballos has featured 17 times for Arsenal this season, scoring one goal.

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