Arsenal are understood to have no plans of extending the stay of midfielder Dani Ceballos beyond the current campaign, a report from El Confidencial claims.
The Spain international joined the north London club on a season-long loan from Real Madrid last summer and he made a lively beginning to the season with two assists on his home league debut against Burnley.
However, he could not sustain the same level of performance thereafter and picked up a hamstring injury in November which kept him out of action until the turn of the year.
In that period, the Gunners opted to dismiss Unai Emery from the head coach position and his successor Mikel Arteta was initially reluctant to play him in January.
Ceballos managed to change the manager’s opinion of him during the warm-weather training camp in Dubai and he was a regular in the centre of the park before the season was suspended because of the COVID-19 threat.
According to El Confidencial, the Gunners are likely to make the effort to keep Ceballos for the rest of the current season but they don’t have the option to buy him permanently.
With the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been the talk of the club re-signing Ceballos on loan for the second-season running but that no longer appears the case.
Ceballos impressed from the defensive midfield position before the coronavirus shutdown but it seems that the club are looking for a new player, who is a natural in the holding role.
Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey has been regularly linked with a summer move to the Gunners but his £45m buy-out clause remains a significant stumbling block under the current financial climate.
Elsewhere, there has been the suggestion of a swap involving Lucas Torreira and AC Milan’s Franck Kessie but it is unclear whether the capital outfit would entertain such an agreement.
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