Arsenal are in ‘pole position’ to sign Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid this summer, but the player is eyeing up a return to Real Betis.

The Spanish midfielder has been on loan from the Bernabeu since the summer, having left in search of regular playing time elsewhere.

That is something he has found at Arsenal, enduring an up and down campaign that started brightly, went downhill via injuries and a lack of form and then rose again since the arrival of Mikel Arteta as manager.

Arsenal are keen to keep him beyond the summer and reports over the last few weeks have indicated they will push for either a second loan deal or a permanent transfer.

That is something Mundo Deportivo back up today, saying the Gunners are in ‘pole position’ to secure his signature for a second year.

Ceballos is ‘hungry’ for a starring role again next season and would not be ‘disgusted’ at a return to Arsenal given he has become a key player under Arteta.

However, his dream is to return to Betis, and he has been sending ‘winks’ to the Spanish club to make it happen.

So far they haven’t made their move, and he is waiting for them to work things out and ‘make the operation feasible’.

That’s tricky for them to do, though. While the club have openly stated Ceballos would ‘meet all the technical requirements’ for them, they need to work out a way to raise the funds to do so.

First of all, they will have to get rid of several high earners in the current squad, while they may also need to sell a key player – William Carvalho is named explicitly – to be able to cope with the costs involved.

Those are Ceballos wages, which are €3m a year, while Madrid are demanding €4m just for a one-year loan.

The situation is therefore at a standstill, although conversations with the current Arsenal man are thought to have been ‘fluid’ in recent months as he’s indicated his ‘predisposition’ would be to return to his former club than stay at the Emirates.


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