Dani Ceballos has been hugely impressive for Arsenal in recent weeks.
The on-loan Spain international has made a spot at the heart of midfield his own under Mikel Arteta since the Premier League restart.
His displays have been instrumental in a number of fine recent wins, while he also bagged the all-important FA Cup quarter-final winner against Sheffield United.
Certainly, his stock has risen with Arteta, who initially – after replacing Unai Emery – had reservations over Ceballos’ role in his side.
But Ceballos knuckled down, responded to his manager’s call to be fitter and take more responsibility, and has since starred.
In July, he has topped Arsenal’s squad for most touches (332), most passes (232), key passes (7), successful dribbles (7) and tackles (7).
Now Arteta is keen to seal a deal to keep him at the Emirates.
And he insisted on Friday that he has no qualms about going straight to the Kroenke family to ask for what he wants as he sets about his Gunners rebuild.
Arsenal are in talks with Real Madrid over keeping Ceballos long-term, Arteta confirmed earlier this month.
Ceballos’ deal in Madrid runs until 2023, but Los Blancos are open to cashing in on the former Real Betis man. He is currently due to return to the Spanish capital in August.
Arsenal’s financial situation means that they need to be creative in the market the summer.
And now Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president, has confirmed that the newly-crowned Spanish champions’ own financial situation means they will need to cut deals themselves.
“The situation is really bad,” he confirmed to El Transistor, when discussing Madrid’s financial situation and ability to make signings this summer.
“It’s difficult to ask the players to take a pay cut to help deal with the situation and then make signings like that. That can wait. Madrid will sign the best again when the situation changes.
“This year has been the most difficult for me. We lost important income from the stadium. We had to talk to the players for them to do their bit. If they hadn’t voluntarily lowered their salaries, the company would have suffered losses.
“It’s an exceptional situation.”
Those concerns, with Madrid also losing 25 percent of their stadium revenue due to not being able to host fans, enhance their need to move out players who are owned by the club, but have little future under Zinedine Zidane.
And while it’s difficult to find a buyer for Gareth Bale or James Rodriguez – due to their huge salaries – Arsenal and Ceballos present a ready-made opportunity.
Transfer figures in the region of £20million have been mooted in Spain – a relative snip that Arsenal, paying out over the course of a potential four or five-year contract, can make work.
With Arteta keen to keep the midfielder permanently, a deal is a solution that suits all parties and, as things stand, looks increasingly likely to come to fruition.
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