Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has denied reports that the club have contacted Real Madrid to try and strike a permanent deal for midfielder Dani Ceballos.
The 23-year-old is on loan at the Emirates Stadium this season, but there is no option in the deal for Arsenal to sign him, so the Gunners will have to negotiate a traditional transfer if they want to bring him in.
Rumours have emerged suggesting that Arsenal have already tried to get the ball rolling on such a deal, but Arteta insisted (via The Mirror) that those stories are completely fictitious.
"We haven't had any discussions about it [a permanent deal]," Arteta insisted. "I'm really happy with Dani and what he's bringing to the team right now. It took him a while after his injury to get to the level that he has and that I've seen in the past. He's performing much better now and that's why he's playing much more games."
Ceballos has managed 23 appearances in all competitions this season, with a hamstring injury forcing him to miss nearly two months of action.
By the time he returned, former boss Unai Emery had been replaced by Arteta, but Ceballos struggled to find a way back into the lineup. There were even reports that the midfielder was close to terminating his loan in January, but it all looks to have worked out in the end. How nice.
It doesn't seem outlandish to suggest that Arsenal would want to sign him permanently, but whether they would be able to that is a different question entirely. He's still under contract with Real until 2023, so he's definitely not going to come cheap.
Unfortunately, that's a real problem for Arsenal. The Gunners aren't blessed with a lot of money these days, and missing out on European football will really hit them hard if they cannot improve on their current tenth-placed standing.
If they want the money to sign Ceballos, they're surely going to have to sell first. If only they had a 30-year-old Gabonese striker inching closer and closer to the exit door with each passing day. Oh, right, they do.
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Source : 90min