Real Madrid have turned down an offer from Arsenal to sign Dani Ceballos permanently at the end of his year-long loan deal at Emirates Stadium.
Ceballos completed a temporary switch to Arsenal from Santiago Bernabeu at the end of July, after helping Spain’s U21s win the European Championships.
The 23-year-old has found regular playing time hard to come by at Madrid since his move from Real Betis in 2017, with only 35 La Liga appearances to his name for the club to date.
Zinedine Zidane did not include Ceballos in his plans for the 2019-20 campaign, which led to his transfer to Arsenal and according to Metro Sport, he is now open to leaving the club permanently.
Arsenal are eager to sign the Spaniard, but El Desmarque reports that Madrid have rejected a £26 million offer from the Premier League outfit for the talented playmaker.
The Spanish publication states that Madrid will hold out for at least £30 million before sanctioning Ceballos’ departure, with that figure likely to rise if he continues to impress in English football.
The former Betis ace has settled in very quickly at the Emirates, featuring in all nine of Arsenal’s Premier League fixtures at the start of the new campaign.
Ceballos has added a fresh creative streak to Unai Emery’s starting XI and his continued presence will be vital to the team’s chances of a top-four finish come May.
However, Madrid could yet decide to bring the midfielder back to the Bernabeu next summer, especially if their struggles on the pitch continue into 2020.
The Blancos have faced plenty of criticism for their performances this term, with pressure on Zidane at an all-time high after a 1-0 defeat to Real Mallorca at the weekend.
Arsenal will still hope that they can arrange a deal to keep Ceballos in north London beyond the current season, especially given a lack of alternative options across the middle of the park for Emery at the moment.