On-loan Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos has said that he has received the assurance from manager Zinedine Zidane that his future lies at Real Madrid.
The 23-year-old joined the Gunners on a season-long loan from Los Blancos during last summer’s transfer window and he made a strong impression at the beginning of the campaign with a man-of-the-match display against Burnley, where he bagged two assists.
He has since struggled to replicate the same level of performance due to form and injury concerns but he appeared to be picking up his form before the coronavirus shutdown where he made six-straight appearances under Mikel Arteta – four of which were from the starting lineup.
The north London giants have yet to make any decision over a permanent deal for Ceballos but the Spanish midfielder has dropped a huge hint that his long-term future could lie with the 13-time European champions.
“When I was at Valdebebas two or three months ago, he told me he was following the Premier League, that he had seen me play and that he was happy I was getting the minutes I hadn’t had previously,” he told DAZN (h/t Standard Sport).
“My relationship with him is healthy. He always told me I was like him; that I was a player who needed to play a lot of games in order to play at a high rhythm. He has always said that my future is at Real Madrid and that I should be patient because it’s possible I’ll have an opportunity.”
Ceballos has already played under Zidane during the 2017/2018 campaign and the backend of the previous season. On both occasions, he has struggled for regular playing time and has managed a total of only six league starts.
This had led to suggestions over a frosty relationship between the duo but Ceballos has now cleared the air by stating that the Frenchman has welcomed the possibility of reintegrating him into Los Blancos’ squad.
Ceballos has made 24 appearances for the Gunners this term, contributing one goal and two assists. The Premier League side will definitely seek a replacement, if they are unable to re-sign him following his loan stint.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com