Real Madrid star Dani Ceballos on Villarreal’s radar

Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has reportedly become a target for La Liga rivals Villarreal with Unai Emery keen to reunite.

According to a report by El Nacional, forgotten Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos is being chased by La Liga club Villarreal in the current transfer window.

Ceballos is currently in his fifth year at Real Madrid, having joined the Merengues from boyhood club Real Betis in 2017. However, the Spaniard could never establish himself as a regular in the Santiago Bernabeu side. After making just over 50 appearances in his first three seasons at the club, he joined Arsenal on loan in the summer of 2019.

Ceballos spent two seasons at Arsenal, scoring 77 appearances in which he netted twice and registered five assists. The 25-year-old returned to Real Madrid in the summer of last year. But, he was sidelined for the first half of the season due to injury. He played his first game of the campaign earlier this month when he came on as a substitute in the Copa del Rey clash against Alcoyano.

But, considering that Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are ahead of him in the pecking order, Ceballos doesn’t have much of a future at the club in the Spanish capital. And Villarreal are now hoping to take advantage of the situation by signing him up in the current transfer window.

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Villarreal manager Unai Emery is unhappy with his squad’s depth and intends to address it before the January window closes in a few weeks. And, he identified Ceballos as a player who can improve his roster. After all, it was Emery who signed the 25-year-old on loan from Arsenal before he was sacked in 2019.

Real Madrid, for their part, are very open to offloading the Spain international, with Florentino Perez setting an asking price of €15m for the underprivileged midfielder. At the same time, however, Los Blancos would consider sanctioning a loan exit if clubs are reluctant to match their valuation.

However, according to the report, Ceballos isn’t interested in signing for Villarreal. Instead, the midfielder is believed to favor a move to his boyhood club Real Betis, who also want a reunion with the 25-year-old. However, Manuel Pellegrini’s side are yet to attempt to re-sign the Real Madrid star, and it remains to be seen where he will end up before the transfer window ends.

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