Atletico Madrid are reportedly ready to offer €40m for Dani Ceballos to all but end Arsenal’s ever-fading hopes of keeping the Real Madrid loanee.
Ceballos is about to conclude the second season of his loan spell at Arsenal from Real. It seems he will be heading back to the Spanish capital in the summer – but not necessarily to his former club. With no future at the Bernabeu he may join Real’s rivals Atletico instead.
The Spain international recently indicated that he didn’t want to stay with Arsenal. He claimed his qualities would suit La Liga better and he was eyeing a return to his native country.
Arsenal haven’t necessarily given up hope of signing him permanently. Mikel Arteta has previously said he would wait until the end of the season to find a solution. But it appears they may have missed their chance to convince him.
A return to former club Real Betis has seemed to be Ceballos’ preferential option if he moves on from Madrid. But it recently emerged that Atletico were considering a move too.
Todofichajes back up those claims. They suggest that it could cost €40m to transfer Ceballos across the Spanish capital.
It may be rare for two rivals to trade players, but Real and Atletico have negotiated before. The report points to the move Marcos Llorente made from Los Blancos to Atleti in 2019 as one precursor.
It is also suggested that Atletico wanted to take James Rodriguez from Real last summer, before he headed to the Premier League with Everton instead.
Should they meet Real’s €40m demands for Ceballos, they may have better luck this time. The midfielder could fill the gap Atletico saw Rodriguez as an ideal fit for, while also covering for the impending departure of Vitolo.
Even if Arsenal were to try to tempt Ceballos to stay, it seems unlikely they would be able to compete with the kind of figures the two Madrid clubs would be dealing with.
Partey in line for Atletico return?
If Ceballos does end up at the Wanda Metropolitano, he could be followed by another teammate.
The same source has also claimed that Thomas Partey could return to his former club.
Partey joined Arsenal on deadline day in October after they triggered his €50m release clause. But the Ghana international has had various injury problems and was criticised by Arteta earlier in the season for his role in a goal Arsenal conceded.
According to Todofichajes, the Gunners are now thinking about selling Partey just one year into his contract, which still runs until 2025.
With Lucas Torreira not staying with Atletico, it is speculated that Partey could also be returned to sender. Arsenal will try to recoup the €50m fee they spent if Atleti can stump it up.
Diego Simeone is said to be keen for his side to take Partey back to Spain. The report points to how they re-signed Filipe Luis and Diego Costa after mixed spells with Chelsea.
Despite earning €50m from Partey’s transfer last year, Atletico do not have the funds to sign him for that value. Hence, they may have to spread the payments over multiple years or take him on an initial loan deal.
But Arteta does not see him as “untouchable”, so Arsenal could be open for negotiations.
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