Dani Ceballos’ return to Real Madrid for pre-season caught club sources by surprise, and they suspect it’s a tactical move to draw bigger bids.
After completing his loan with Arsenal earlier this month, Dani Ceballos made his return to Real Madrid for pre-season training. Reports in Spain suggest he’ll join up with the squad as normal, rather than immediately extending his loan at Arsenal or moving elsewhere.
ESPN report that this is surprising news to those close to the situation. They know Ceballos doesn’t have a strong relationship with Zinedine Zidane, with the head coach preferring fellow loanee Martin Odegaard. Ceballos would need to persuade Zidane to give him another chance.
As a result, those same sources suspect the player’s initial return to Madrid is a tactical move. Real are trying to encourage larger bids whilst also keeping open the option of a stay.
They’re unlikely to get very far with Arsenal. Without stadium revenue, the club don’t look like spending big this summer. If they do, it’s more likely to be for someone like Thomas Partey, their main summer target. Ideally, the Gunners would want Ceballos on another loan.
But these are the sorts of games you expect in the transfer window. Real have every right to try and generate as much interest as they can in their player. Like almost every other club at the moment, they’re looking to fund their window through sales if possible.