Bengaluru, July 12: North London giants Arsenal have reportedly overtaken their arch rivals Tottenham to move into pole position in the race for Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos.
The 22-year-old Spaniard is still on holiday after helping Spain lift the European U21 Championship last month.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has deemed the midfielder surplus to requirements with the club ready to listen to offers for him.
And reports in Spain claim that Arsenal manager Unai Emery is plotting a loan swoop to bring the star to North London.
The Gunners and Spurs are just two of several teams interested in the youngster.
Ceballos has publicly stated he will prioritise a move to a side that can offer him the most playing time following a campaign that resulted in just 13 La Liga appearances.
Emery has a limited budget at his disposal this summer after failing to qualify for the Champions League and a few good loan deals could prove to be useful for the Gunners.
And with just £45m to spend, he is believed to be favouring a loan arrangement with a later option to buy for the versatile attacker as he looks to replace the departed Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey.
But that could prove to be a stumbling block as Real look to balance the books after a heavy transfer outlay over the close season.
And the Los Blancos are also claimed to want a buy-back option included as part of any possible package.
Despite those factors, Emery knows he can offer the former Betis star his desired gametime, at least certainly more than their rivals Spurs can.
The Spaniard said earlier this summer: “The most important thing in this life is to be happy and it is something that can only be achieved by playing 40 games a year.
“My personal goal for next season is to play 40 games, to get comfortable with myself at all times. Wherever it is, but in a place where I can feel valued.”
And after helping his country to glory in June, he provided a further boost to the Gunners hopes of landing him by admitting a move abroad would hold no fear.
Ceballos said: “What I know is that I want to enjoy next year and I am open to try new experiences, I am not afraid.
“I know that next year I have a very nice challenge ahead. I would like to try new things and, above all, enjoy a lot.”