Mikel Arteta has potentially been handed a slice of good news ahead of the return to Premier League action after it became clear that Zinedine Zidane wants to ship out as many as 17 Real Madrid players this summer.
On loan midfielder, Dani Ceballos, could therefore find himself at the Emirates Stadium for another season at least, with Don Balon naming a huge list of players that the Frenchman wants to cull in order to trim his squad.
Some of those that may need to look for pastures new aren’t really a surprise, but a few names on the list could raise eyebrows, particularly as a ‘root and branch’ type clear out could harm Los Blancos’ attempts at continuity within the squad.
Alphonse Areola, Alvaro Odriozola, Sergio Reguilon, Javi Sanchez, Jesus Vallejo, Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez, James Rodriguez, Brahim Diaz, Takefusa Kubo, Reinier Jesus, Rodrygo Goes, Lucas Vazquez, Gareth Bale, Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz might well also not be required at the Santiago Bernabeu next season.
Zidane is believed to want Luka Modric to stay, although it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Croatian saw his future elsewhere, with an eye perhaps on one last big pay day.
Given that Barcelona sit atop La Liga despite Real Madrid being the most consistent team of 2019/20, losing so many players in such a short space of time isn’t really conducive to harmony.
However, the apparent desperation from Zidane to win the league title again evidently could see him resorting to desperate measures.