Arsenal’s reshuffle in the recruitment department could see them lose out on Dani Ceballos, according to reports.
The Telegraph is claiming that Arsenal were in talks with Real Madrid about a new deal for the Spanish midfielder but the departure of Raul Sanllehi last week has potentially delayed any move.
A report from MARCA in July suggested Ceballos could be available for €25 million (£22.5m), but Arsenal were believed to be pushing for another loan deal with a potential obligation to buy.
Chief executive Vinai Venkatesham is now in charge of negotiating the deal. However, the delay has allowed Italian giants AC Milan to make their own loan offer for the 24-year-old star, who finally showed his best football post-lockdown under Mikel Arteta.
Milan’s transfer negotiations are conducted by club legend Paolo Maldini and current chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who was replaced by Sanllehi and Venkatesham at The Emirates Stadium. The former Arsenal man is now hopeful of stealing Ceballos away from his former club and taking him to the San Siro.
It would be a bitter blow to Mikel Arteta. The Arsenal boss recently spoke of his desire to keep his countryman at The Emirates beyond the end of the current season.
“Yeah, we are talking to the club (Real Madrid),” Arteta was quoted by The Guardian last month. “Obviously we don’t own the player, he’s not in our hands so the clubs will need to have a communication and see what we can do.
“I’m really happy with him, the way he’s evolving, and I love how much he likes to play football – the passion he puts into every training session and every game, you just have to see his celebrations. I think he’s evolving in the right way and he’s becoming a really important player for us.”
It is not known if Real Madrid have plans to keep Ceballos but AC Milan are clearly hopeful of adding him to their midfield.
It would be a major blow to Arsenal and one dripped in irony if a delay caused by the departure of one man, Sanllehi, was seized upon by the opportunistic man, Gazidis, he replaced in North London.