According to Marca, Arsenal are in pole position to sign Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, although the Gunners will only be able to complete a loan switch given their lack of transfer funds.
After finding himself somewhat surplus to requirements following the arrivals of Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic at the Santiago Bernabeu, the 22-year-old says he prioritizes a move to a side that can offer him the most playing time.
Ceballos made just 13 La Liga starts last term, and given Spurs’ options in midfield, he could struggle to break into manager Mauricio Pochettino’s starting XI.
While Christian Eriksen has been linked with an exit, the Dane could still opt to remain at Tottenham as Madrid aren’t keen on meeting their demands.
Giovani Lo Celso is still on their radar, while Dele Alli and Harry Winks are firmly in Pochettino’s books.
Given his huge quality, Ceballos could end up holding his own in such a star-studded midfield, but he will walk into manager Unai Emery’s line-up at Arsenal without any hassle.
The Gunners have lost Aaron Ramsey and the Spanish boss isn’t particularly a huge fan of Mesut Ozil.
Denis Suarez’s loan from Barcelona ended up being a decision Emery was left to rue, but the Madrid man showed what he is capable of doing during the European Under-21 Championship in Italy a few weeks ago, and he definitely can help Arsenal to a top-four finish next term.
Ceballos will have to sacrifice playing Champions League football next season in order to join the Gunners, but it seems the more reasonable thing to do compared to potentially warming the bench at Tottenham.
If playing minutes are indeed dear to the Spaniard, Arsenal should be favourites ahead of Spurs in the race, and getting one over their city rivals in the transfer market will be a huge boost for Emery’s men.