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Zidane’s Forgotten Man

Dani Ceballos

After winning the U21 European championship with Spain and being named in UEFA’s team of the tournament, Dani Ceballos now faces the prospect of moving to a new club in his search for increased playing time. Despite him playing 23 times and scoring three goals for Los Blancos, Zidane still isn’t keen on the 22 year old midfielder. Whilst senior figures in the club are keen to keep the talented youngster, Zidane is looking to pursue alternatives such as Paul Pogba, Christian Eriksen, and Ajax midfielder Donny Van de Beek. However, the Frenchman does appear open to sending Ceballos out on loan and tracking his progress to see if he can earn a spot in the midfield of the 13-time European champions. So what are the centre midfielder’s potential destinations? 

The most likely option seems to be Tottenham Hotspur. This seems like a good deal for both parties as Spurs are one of the few clubs who seem interested in a loan deal, with a potential option to buy, and could include the player as part of the deal involving Eriksen. It would seem to be a like for like deal, although the pressure would be on Ceballos to make an immediate impact, given how influential Eriksen has been since his move to North London. 

A similar swap deal including Ceballos plus cash was also rumoured to have been offered to Manchester United in exchange for Paul Pogba, although this has apparently already been turned down by the Red Devils. 

Arsenal and Liverpool are two other clubs who have shown interest in the former Real Betis player. Arsenal are keeping a close eye on the situation but seem to have other priorities as they continue to negotiate with Zaha. It’s also worth noting that Ceballos may struggle to fit into the Arsenal team as currently Ozil and Mkhitarian occupy the role just behind the striker which is where the Spanish midfielder really excels. Whilst Unai Emery is looking to get both of these players off the Gunner’s wage bill, potential destinations appear slim and so any deal seems unlikely. 

Liverpool are also looking to complete other deals first and, as with Arsenal, Ceballos may struggle to break into the first team on a regular basis given their current options in similar positions. However, both clubs would look to a permanent transfer rather than a loan deal which seems to put them at a disadvantage as Real do not appear to be keen on parting with the 22 year old. 

PSG and AC Milan have also reportedly registered their interest in the Spanish playmaker but with PSG’s recent signing of Ander Herrera and AC Milan’s European ban, neither club appears a likely destination. 

We would currently value Dani Ceballos at around £10.64m, but if we take into account his U21 international caps and his recent performance for Spain’s successful U21 European Championship campaign this figure could be as high as £25.86m.  

If reports are to be believed then Madrid are only willing to accept bids in the region of £45m. Whilst this would contribute an ‘overspend’ of £20m, at 22 years old, Ceballos is still a few years away from his peak. In addition to this, with more regular game time he may be able to break into the Spanish national team, further increasing his value. In today’s market, £45m appears a fair price for the talented Spaniard and so a purchase would be recommended for any club able to provide the player an opportunity in the first team. 


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