Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has reportedly emerged as a target for La Liga rivals Villarreal, with Unai Emery keen on a reunion.
According to a report from El Nacional, forgotten Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos is being pursued by La Liga club Villarreal in the ongoing transfer window.
Ceballos is currently in his fifth year at Real Madrid, having joined the Merengues from boyhood club Real Betis in 2017. However, the Spaniard has never been able to establish himself as a regular in the side at the Santiago Bernabeu. Having made just over 50 appearances in his first three seasons at the club, he joined Arsenal on loan in the summer of 2019.
Ceballos spent two seasons at Arsenal, notching up 77 appearances in which he scored twice and registered five assists. The 25-year-old returned to Real Madrid in the summer of last year. But, he was sidelined for the first half of the season with an injury. He played his first match of the campaign earlier this month when he came on as a substitute in the Copa del Rey clash against Alcoyano.
But, considering that Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are ahead of him in the pecking order, Ceballos does not have much of a future at the Spanish capital club. And Villarreal are now hoping to capitalise on the situation by signing him up in the ongoing transfer window.
Villarreal manager Unai Emery is not happy with the depth in his squad and intends to address that before the January window slams shut in a couple of weeks. And, he has identified Ceballos as a player who can improve his roster. After all, it was Emery who signed the 25-year-old on loan at Arsenal before being sacked in 2019.
Real Madrid, for their part, are open to offloading the Spanish international, with Florentino Perez setting an asking price of €15 million for the out-of-favour midfielder. At the same time, though, Los Blancos would consider sanctioning a loan exit if clubs are reluctant to match their valuation.
However, as per the report, Ceballos is not interested in signing for Villarreal. Instead, the midfielder is believed to favour a move to his boyhood club Real Betis, who are also keen on a reunion with the 25-year-old. However, Los Verdiblancos are yet to attempt to re-sign the Real Madrid star, and it remains to be seen where he ends up before the end of the transfer window.