Real Madrid have reportedly been told to include Dani Ceballos in any deal that would see them sign Spanish centre-half Pau Torres from Villarreal.
According to a report from Spanish outlet OK Diario, Villarreal have demanded that Real Madrid include midfielder Dani Ceballos as part of a deal that would see the reigning La Liga champions sign Pau Torres.
Real Madrid are in the market for a new centre-back as they search for a long-term replacement for club captain Sergio Ramos. The veteran defender is 34 years old and in the final year of his contract. And amid talks of a potential transfer to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, Los Blancos are on the lookout for a new centre-back.
A number of players have been linked with a move to the Bernabeu but Torres is someone that seems to be high on the list of Real Madrid’s shortlist. The 23-year-old has established himself as one of the best young centre-backs in La Liga over the past year and a half, already becoming a regular for the Spanish national team as well.
Till date, Torres has featured 54 times for the Yellow Submarine, 11 of which have come in the ongoing season. With Real Madrid seriously interested in the Spaniard, it is being claimed that he has a release clause worth €50 million in his contract with Villarreal.
And, as per the report, Real Madrid could sign him for a fee lesser than that amount, if they include out of favour midfielder Dani Ceballos as part of the deal to sign Torres.
The 24-year-old Ceballos came through the ranks at Real Betis and earned his stripes with the senior team before Real Madrid snapped him up in the summer of 2017.
However, the Spanish midfielder was never quite able to establish himself as a regular at the Bernabeu and as a result, ended up joining Arsenal on loan in 2019. Ceballos had a reasonably successful spell at the Emirates last time out and Mikel Arteta’s side signed him up on a season-long temporary deal once again this past summer.
It was Unai Emery who brought Ceballos to Arsenal last year and now that he is in charge at Villarreal, the Spanish tactician is hoping to rejoin forces with the 24-year-old once again, should Real Madrid make an approach to sign Torres in the future.
The report also goes on to add that there is the possibility of Real Madrid also including Jesus Vallejo and Reinier Jesus as part of the deal for Torres next summer, albeit on loan, based on how Takefusa Kubo fares in his ongoing loan spell at El Madrigal.
By signing Torres from Villarreal, Real Madrid would be bringing in a gifted player who can replace their current captain. And it is abundantly clear that Ceballos is not a part of manager Zinedine Zidane’s plans. So, including him as part of the deal to bring the defender to the Bernabeu could prove to be a win-win for all parties involved.