Zinedine Zidane wanted Real Madrid to sell Dani Ceballos in the summer transfer window, according to Alfredo Relano.
The honorary president of Diario AS stated (per Bleacher Report) that the manager had wanted the midfielder to be moved on permanently in order to raise funds for a potential swoop for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
Ceballos, who is now on loan at Arsenal, is thought to be way down the pecking order at the Santiago Bernabeu, with El Pais journalist Oscar Sanz suggesting that Zidane has “no faith” in the Spain international (per Bleacher Report).
As to be expected with a club that has the stature of Real Madrid, there is plenty of competition in the middle of the park, whilst Zidane also has a plethora of top-quality options on offer to choose from.
According to TransferMarkt, Los Blancos can call upon Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde as his main central-midfield options, whilst both Isco and Casemiro can be called upon in that position as well.
Sanz also went on to mention that Zidane preferred Isco to Ceballos in the middle of the park and suggested if Real Madrid were to sign another attacking midfielder, the current Arsenal man would find it even more difficult to push his way up the pecking order.
“Zidane has no faith in Ceballos,” he said. “It’s very simple — Ceballos is a very similar player to Isco, but Zidane prefers Isco. Ceballos has more capacity to defend than Isco. It would be useful for Real Madrid to have him in the squad now, but if the club were to buy Christian Eriksen in the winter or, say, Donny van de Beek in the summer, it’ll be very difficult for Ceballos to return to Real Madrid, especially if Zidane continues.”
The 23-year-old is, perhaps, a little unfortunate to be in the position that he is currently in as he has shown he can perform to a quality standard.
According to WhoScored, Ceballos managed to help take Spain to the Euro Under-21 2019 title as he managed to record two goals and two assists in his five appearances, averaging three shots, 2.8 key passes, 3.8 completed dribbles with a pass success rate of 90.1%.
Indeed, he also appears to have taken to the Premier League well, as he has two assists, 0.9 shots, 1.1 key passes, 1.4 completed dribbles with a successful passing percentage of 89% in his eight top-flight appearances so far for Arsenal (per WhoScored).
Ceballos appears to have his work cut out for him if he wants to continue his career at Real Madrid – something he has recently admitted he would like to do once his time at Arsenal comes to an end (Radio Marca, via quotes relayed by Metro).
For that to happen, he will likely need to be playing some of his best football whilst at the Emirates Stadium, though Zidane might have to be shifted on for him to even have a sniff of a chance.
Real Madrid fans, what do you think the future holds for Ceballos? Let us know your thoughts below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!