Arsenal and Real Madrid are close to a new loan deal for Dani Ceballos to return to London this season, per reports (@JLSanchez78 first, confirmed by @FabrizioRomano). The move was always likely to happen, even with Real Madrid putting the screws to Arsenal with that whole “maybe we want him for a full preseason” stuff. It’s business — Madrid were in the stronger bargaining position, and they may have gotten a better deal for it.
As of now, the two clubs are working on the details of the loan move. I hope that it has at least an option to buy, and I’d be fine with an obligation. Setting the price now, before he has (hopefully) another good season in North London could end up saving the Gunners some money next summer.
Getting Dani Ceballos back on loan for this season is an important piece of business for the Gunners. Arsenal need him in the midfield, even if they do make another signing like Partey or Aouar. Ceballos blossomed under Mikel Arteta and formed a strong partnership with Granit Xhaka, especially during the restart. He provides that much-needed passing ability at the base of the midfield and has decent attacking creativity to go along with it. I was most impressed with his defensive workrate and effectiveness in the second half of the season, an improvement I’m going to credit to Arteta.
Ceballos may have to quarantine for 14 days upon his return to England. If so, he won’t be available for the Fulham match — he trained today with Real Madrid in Spain. The good news is that he wasn’t called in for Spain duty in the upcoming window, so he’ll be able to begin his quarantine as quickly as possible.