With the end of the 2019/20 campaign signified by Arsenal’s record 14th FA Cup final win over Chelsea on Saturday [August 1], the Gunners find themselves in transfer territory once more, with the spotlight shining on potential deals ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
One deal that could prove crucial for the future of Mikel Arteta’s side is whether or not Dani Ceballos will extend his stay in north London.
As it stands, the 23-year-old is a Real Madrid player as there was no option-to-buy in his 2019/20 loan to Arsenal. Despite this, both the player and Arteta have publicly admitted they would be open to him return to the Emirates next season.
“The truth is I’m very happy at Arsenal. It’s a club in which I already have a year of experience, so it would be very easy to return. I wouldn’t have to adapt to a new league or new club with a different manager and players,” Ceballos told Sky Sports on July 21.
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“I think it would be a good step for me. But like I said, my future depends on Real Madrid and right now I don’t know their decision.”
While Ceballos has three years left on his contract with Los Blancos, the club are open to letting him go on a permanent deal, but Arsenal are in favour of an extension of his loan.
Before any detailed talks can be held between the clubs, however, the midfielder is set to meet with Florentino Perez and other Madrid chiefs to discuss his future after Los Blancos’ Champions League season ends. They play the second leg of their round of 16 vs Manchester City [who are 2-1 up with away goals] on Friday [August 7].
In the meantime, Arsenal don’t have to look too far for an example as to why they should feel optimistic that they can secure a deal for a man who doesn’t appear to need that much convincing to stay in the Premier League. Just six days ago, Ceballos lined up against a former Real Madrid who found himself in a very similar situation last summer.
Chelsea may have had an option-to-buy when they loaned Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid in 2018, but by the time summer 2019 rolled around, it was a mixture factors similar to those experienced by Ceballos which made that option look more desirable for the midfielder.
Most importantly, he was wanted. Although his performances weren’t impressive under Maurizio Sarri, he still started 21 Premier League games in the 2018/19 season, making 10 substitute appearances, while starting 10 of Chelsea’s games on their way to Europa League glory that year. With Sarri’s sacking, Frank Lampard then gave his approval for the permanent signing of Kovacic ahead of his arrival, as revealed by football.london’s Oliver Harbord.
This season under Lampard, the 26-year-old went a few steps better, starting 23 games in the Premier League [eight substitute appearances] and proving himself to be a standout member of…