Dani Ceballos wants to join Arsenal on a permanent basis, claims Mikel Arteta, but any decision on the midfielder’s future now rests in the hands of Real Madrid.
The 24-year-old playmaker spent the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Emirates Stadium.
Life in England did not always run smooth for the Spain international, with a bright start under Unai Emery making way for a mid-season dip.
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Ceballos was, however, to play his way back into favour under Arteta and finished with two goals, two assists and an FA Cup winners’ medal to his name.
Arsenal believe there is more to come from a man who has struggled to nail down a regular role in Madrid.
They continue to explore the option of putting another agreement in place, but are waiting on Real to make decisions regarding the futures of those on the fringes of the fold at Santiago Bernabeu.
Arteta told reporters when asked about his plans for Ceballos: “Well, we have had some talks and Dani knows really well what I think about him.
“He was pretty clear with me as well that his intention was to remain with us, but obviously Real Madrid is involved and I don’t know yet what they want to do with the player.
“But he’s a player that we are interested in because we really saw, in the last few months of the season, what he is capable of bringing to us.”
Arsenal are well-stocked for midfield talent at present, which means any incomings could be offset by departures.
Mohamed Elneny may form part of that process, with the Egypt international having spent last season on loan at Turkish giants Besiktas.
Arteta admits there could be movement there, saying: “Well, I know Mo really well. I played with him, so I know what he can be and I know his strengths and weaknesses really well.
“He’s a really positive character to have around and he has some really good qualities as well and like anybody else, in the moment that he is with us, he will be given all our support and the best possible environment for them to perform as high as they can.”
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Pressed further on whether he expects the 28-year-old to stay or leave, Arteta said: “We don’t know.
“The sixth of October is still too far, as I said. It’s pretty unpredictable to know what’s going to happen.”
For now, Arsenal are focused on a quick turnaround heading into the 2020-21 campaign, with another shot at silverware set to be presented to the FA Cup holders when they take on Premier League champions Liverpool in the Community Shield on Saturday.
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