Dani Ceballos could leave Real Madrid this summer but manager Carlo Ancelotti has reportedly already found a replacement. According to Spanish news outlet El Nacional, the Italian would target Brahim Diaz from AC Milan if the former leaves.
The Spaniard wants a return to Real Betis, where he spent three years before signing for Los Blancos in 2017.
He wants to play regularly as first-team opportunities have been hard to come by for him with the Santiago Bernabeu outfit. He has played just 74 matches in all competitions for the Merengues.
Should Ceballos indeed leave once more, Real Madrid will be left to find an urgent replacement and Ancelotti has identified Diaz as the 'chosen one'.
He's currently on loan with the Serie A champions from the Whites and has established himself as an important figure in the last two years.
The 22-year-old is expected to return to Madrid at the end of the 2022-23 season and assume a greater role at the club. However, there could be a change of plans in the event of Ceballos' departure.
Diaz, meanwhile, apparently believes he won't enjoy the same prominence he does with Milan right now and wants to prove his worth with the San Siro outfit.
He also has his sights on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He could make the cut into Spain's final squad by playing regularly, something that isn't a guarantee at Real Madrid.
Ancelotti is spoilt for choice in midfield right now, with Aurelien Tchouameni also joining the squad from AS Monaco this summer. Thereby, convincing Diaz won't be easy.
Marco Asensio also finds himself in a similar situation. The Spaniard has another year on his contract with Real Madrid but wants to leave after struggling to find regular gametime.
Real Madrid begin pre-season this weekend
While most other big sides have already started preparing for the new season with friendly games, Real Madrid are yet to kick a ball this summer.
However, the wait is almost over as the Spanish champions begin their pre-season campaign in the United States this weekend.
Ancelotti's side face El Clasico rivals Barcelona on Saturday, July 23, in Las Vegas, Mexican side Club America on July 26, and Juventus on July 30.
Unlike before, the side aren't scheduled to play many friendly games this summer, with currently only these three fixtures on their list.
Los Blancos will play their first official match of the season on August 10 against UEFA Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup.