Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly closing in on the capture of Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, who is surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu.
As per a report from Spanish publication AS, Real Madrid star Dani Ceballos is closing in on a summer transfer to Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur, after he was told he wasn’t part of manager Zinedine Zidane’s plans.
Ceballos signed for Real Madrid from fellow La Liga outfit Real Betis in 2017, but hasn’t been able to establish himself as a regular in the starting lineup at the Santiago Bernabeu. Till date, the Spanish midfielder has made just 56 appearances for Los Blancos, only 13 of which have been starts in the La Liga.
The 2018-19 campaign saw Ceballos feature 23 times in the Spanish top-flight, but he was used only thrice in the league by Zinedine Zidane post his return to the managerial hotseat at Real Madrid in March.
Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are ahead of Ceballos in the pecking order, and with Real Madrid intently pursuing the signing of Manchester United superstar Paul Pogba, the Spaniard would be pushed further down the rungs. And with the Merengues having spent heavily this summer, their need to balance the books has seen them deem the 22-year-old expendable.
Ceballos’ potential availability has alerted Tottenham, who have been long-term admirers of the Spaniard. The Lilywhites had made an attempt to sign the former Real Betis man last summer as well and have once again rekindled their interest in him ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Tottenham’s midfield department could certainly do with some reinforcing, despite the club having brought in French sensation Tanguy Ndombele for a club-record transfer fee already this summer. Having lost Mousa Dembele and facing the risk of losing Christian Eriksen as well, Mauricio Pochettino needs to boost up his options in the centre of the park.
To that end, Ceballos has emerged as a target for Tottenham. However, they had competition in the form of North London rivals Arsenal along with European champions Liverpool. But, according to the report from AS, the Lilywhites seem to have managed to stave off the competition and are closing on the Spaniard’s signing.
Spurs boss Pochettino is believed to have held talks with Ceballos, during which he outlined how he plans to use the midfielder. The report claims that game time was a major concern for the Real Madrid star and he has been assured by Pochettino that he will be a regular at Tottenham. This has supposedly convinced the 22-year-old to complete a summer switch to the Premier League outfit.
Pochettino has made quite the reputation for getting the best out of young players with potential during his stint at Tottenham. This, coupled with assurances over playing time seem to have tilted the balance in their favour in the race to sign Ceballos.
Real Madrid are believed to be keen on inserting a buy-back clause in any potential sale of Ceballos, which could prove to be a bone of contention in negotiations between the two teams. However, if the report by AS is to go by, the 22-year-old midfielder is edging closer to a summer move to Tottenham.