Not that long ago, Dani Ceballos seemed to be heading for the exit door at Real Madrid but now there is talk of a new deal although the midfielder admits nothing has been offered.

VIGO, SPAIN - APRIL 02: Dani Ceballos of Real Madrid shoots at goal but fails to score during the LaLiga Santander match between RC Celta de Vigo and Real Madrid CF at Abanca-Balaídos on April 02, 2022 in Vigo, Spain. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)
VIGO, SPAIN – APRIL 02: Dani Ceballos of Real Madrid shoots at goal but fails to score during the LaLiga Santander match between RC Celta de Vigo and Real Madrid CF at Abanca-Balaídos on April 02, 2022 in Vigo, Spain. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Dani Ceballos has impressed in his last few matches for Real Madrid after finally being handed a couple of starts.

Out of contract in 2023, many expected him to make his exit this summer on a permanent deal after five years of trying to crack the Real Madrid first team.

Now, however, there is speculation in many Spanish outlets that a new contract could be forthcoming, although that will be discussed in the summer.

At the start of May, AS wrote, “A renewal of Ceballos would allow savings assuming a salary in the middle of the salary scale while maintaining the depth of the squad, which would only lose Isco in relation to the current list of midfielders.”

While Marca added, “At Real Madrid, what is very clear with Dani Ceballos is that in no case would he leave free as some clubs have claimed throughout the season. The Andalusian is opposing to continue dressed in white for some time.

“His contract ends in 14 months, but what seemed like a clear sale in the next market has changed. The door of continuity and even the extension of the contract has been opened, but there is no decision.”

Ceballos, however, was asked about the potential of a return to Real Betis and he told reporters, “I still keep the words I said, my love for that team is unconditional.

“I left Betis back in the day because there was no sports project and the team was fighting not to go down to the Second Division.

“Nothing is closed, I haven’t spoken to the club at all, you know what I think of Betis.

“I have one year left on my contract, we haven’t talked about it anymore, neither about renewing it nor about offers.

“There’s an important game left and then we’ll talk.”

The cynic in me wonders if any new deal is simply to protect Ceballos’ resale value and to stop him leaving for free after Real Madrid paid £14.85m for him.

For all the talk of Carlo Ancelotti liking Ceballos, he has played him just 17 times, which is the same number as Unai Emery at Arsenal and a fraction of the 60 games Mikel Arteta gave him.

It should be noted, however, that Ceballos did miss the first half of this season with an injury picked up at the Olympics which has no doubt limited that number.

Ceballos also picked up a muscular injury as the season drew to a close, but returned for the final two games of the season and is in line to be part of the Champions League squad for the final against Liverpool this weekend.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.