Ahead of Spain's match against Switzerland on Saturday, Ceballos told reporters that Real Madrid requested that he stayed at the Bernabeu this season. However, the 24-year-old was keen to once again link up with compatriot Mikel Arteta.
Ceballos experienced a mixed 2019/20 campaign at the Emirates Stadium. He made 37 appearances in all competitions but struggled for form under Unai Emery. Arteta's arrival sparked a significant improvement in his game and it's no surprise that he wanted to work with the young manager again at Arsenal.
Recent reports, cited by Sport Witness, claim that although Real want to keep the midfielder around for the long-term, Zinedine Zidane's outlook is different. The French boss doesn't appear to see Ceballos in his plans moving forward.
Dani Ceballos is a valued member of the Arsenal squad
Ceballos has featured in every game for Arsenal so far this season since rejoining the club and is evidently a valued fixture in Arteta's plans. The Spaniard suggested that this was in his mind when deciding his future this summer.
Whilst speaking in a press conference on Friday, Ceballos explained the reasoning behind his decision to snub Real Madrid's request in favour of a move to Arsenal. He was quoted stating:
“I spoke with Madrid to say that Arteta wanted me to come back. They asked me to wait, but I was clear that I wanted to return to my club, where I had found myself very well."
"You sit down to appreciate that the Euros and the Olympic Games are coming and you know that you have to play an important role in my team. With Mikel, I found happiness as a player and as a person. And that is key for a player. "
Ceballos has been battling former club captain Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Joe Willock for a spot in the midfield since his second spell at the club started. Add Thomas Partey to the situation and Arsenal have plenty of healthy competition for places in the middle of the park.
Published 09 Oct 2020, 23:56 IST