Things seemed to be going swimmingly for Dani Ceballos while on loan with Arsenal, however, the coaching change to Mikel Arteta has relegated the Real Madrid midfielder to nothing more than a benchwarmer. Pushing for a release from the British club, Ceballos’ efforts to return to Spain to finish out the season have stalled.
Moving to the Spanish capital has been very difficult for Dani Ceballos. The 23-year-old has struggled to break into the star-studded Madrid midfield and a loan move to London this season was expected to help shed some light on what the future might hold.
However, Ceballos’ short time with Arsenal has only given the player and his parent club a bigger headache. When Unai Emery was let go and Arteta was brought in from Manchester City, Dani went from a frequent substitute or fringe starter to a training dummy.
The midfielder has not appeared in a match since the beginning of November in the Europa League and has made it abundantly clear that he wants out of his current agreement. According to reports, his agent and larger entourage started to negotiate with Valencia right around the start of the year.
In essence, Ceballos is forcing a move to Valencia through sheer willpower and without consent from Real Madrid. That, therefore, is why president Florentino Perez and the Los Blancos board have come out in disagreement and are blocking the transfer.
Real Madrid simply does not want a quality player like Dani Ceballos playing for a domestic rival who is competing in the Champions League and is still in the top seven in La Liga.
What I find surprising about all of this is the thought of Dani returning to Spain, but not to his parent club or his childhood club Real Betis. Why does he want to move to Valencia? Is it because he has played under manager Albert Celades with the Spanish U-21 team?
Or does he see himself as a key cog in Los Che’s future plans?
Whatever the reasoning behind his decision, it is clear that Real Madrid wants him to stay put for the time being. There is very little chance the loan is outright cancelled and the player returns to Madrid, but I don’t think making him stay in England is the right decision either.
Time is running out on the January transfer window and there are lots of big decisions and negotiations that need to take place over the next five days.
If nothing happens, Dani could ask Real Madrid to be sold purely out of frustration for what has transpired the last couple of years. It’s hard to predict what will come, so let’s hope it is something good that will benefit both the club and the midfielder.