Real Madrid ‘block Dani Ceballos transfer’ as Arsenal loanee eyes escape route

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Real Madrid are reportedly not keen on the idea of Dani Ceballos joining Valencia as they do not want to strengthen a La Liga rival for the second half of the season.

Ceballos has been on loan at Arsenal since the summer, but despite a promising start his season was disrupted when he suffered a hamstring injury in a Europa League game against Vitoria in November.

He has not played a minute since then, despite returning to fitness, and he has been an unused substitute in four of the Gunners’ last five games in all competitions.

Ceballos is thought to want to cut the loan short and return to Spain, but according to Marca Madrid are reluctant to allow him join another top La Liga team, especially as Valencia could still face them in the Copa del Rey.

The 23-year-old is known to be desperate for first-team football as he looks to break into Spain’s Euro 2020 squad, but he is unlikely to be afforded many minutes at Madrid.

His former club Real Betis are also said to be interested in re-signing the player, and it remains to be seen whether Madrid decide that they are willing to let him move to the 12th placed team.

Whatever happens, it appears Ceballos’ brief spell at Arsenal is coming to an end.

He created two assists in his second appearance for the Gunners in a 2-1 win against Burnley and won Man of the Match, and appeared to be favoured in his position by former manager Unai Emery.

New boss Mikel Arteta does not appear to rate Ceballos as highly as his predecessor, however, and it seems unlikely we will see him in an Arsenal shirt again.

It remains to be seen whether he is included in the squad to take on Bournemouth in the FA Cup fifth round tonight.

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