EPL

Arsenal talking to Real Madrid over Ceballos deal

By Sports Desk July 06, 2020

Arsenal are in talks over making Dani Ceballos' loan switch from Real Madrid permanent.

The 23-year-old Spain midfielder had his season interrupted by a hamstring injury but has now started seven of the previous eight Premier League games and is thriving under Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners are back in action against third-placed Leicester City on Tuesday, where building on their 2-0 weekend triumph at Wolves is vital in terms of maintaining their slim hopes of Champions League qualification.

A strong finish could also make Emirates Stadium a more attractive long-term home for Ceballos.

"Yeah, we are talking to [Real Madrid]," Arteta said.

"Obviously we don't own the player, it is not in our hands. We need to have a communication and see what we can do."

Ceballos' last-gasp winner against Sheffield United set up an FA Cup semi-final showdown with holders Manchester City and Arteta is impressed by the player's enthusiasm as much as his quality.

"I'm really happy with him the way he is evolving. And, as well, I love how much he likes to play football, the passion that he puts in every training session and in every game," he added.

"You have to see his celebrations. Whether he's on the pitch or on the bench, the way he celebrates the goals. He puts his life into it.

"I'm really happy with him. I think he is evolving the right way and becoming a really important player for us."

Such satisfaction applies across the board for Arteta, with Arsenal stringing together three consecutive Premier League victories since returning from lockdown with damaging losses at City and Brighton and Hove Albion.

"I think the players are trying their maximum, the effort they put into every press, every duel. It's tough," he said.

"Even at Brighton, where I was a little bit more critical, I never criticised the effort or the determination that they put in on the pitch; just some focus on the way that we competed in certain moments in the game to give chances to the opponent.

"I am delighted with how the team is acting, how active they are, how alive they are, how hungry they are to compete and put everything into the game."

Matteo Guendouzi remains an exception in this regard, however.

The midfielder has not featured since the 2-1 loss to Brighton, with Arteta calling for Guendouzi and similarly jettisoned playmaker Mesut Ozil to be "100 per cent committed to our culture".

Asked whether the situation with the 21-year-old Guendouzi should have changed since he issued the ultimatum, Arteta replied: "I don't know. The reality is that is hasn’t so we are still where we are."

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