Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos has revealed that Real Madrid asked him to stay at the club this season rather than return to England in a loan deal.
The Spaniard returned to the Gunners on a season-long loan deal this summer following a successful 2019-20 stint at the club, with the North London club covering his wages but not paying a transfer fee for the deal to be concluded.
“I spoke with Madrid to say that (Gunners boss Mikel) Arteta wanted me to come back. They asked me to wait, but I was clear that I wanted to return to my club, where I had found my best level,”.
“You sit down to appreciate that the Euros and the Olympics are coming and you know that you have to play an important role in my (national) team.
“With Mikel I found happiness as a player and as a person. And that is key for a player.”
It had appeared increasingly unlikely that he will be a part of the first-team squad at Los Blancos, partly due to his frosty relationship with club boss Zinedine Zidane.
Indeed, a recent report in Marca claimed that the player is unlikely to be back at Madrid next season because the Frenchman will be remaining in the dugout, while Ceballos started just four La Liga games under Zidane during the 2017/18 campaign.
Ceballos enjoyed a strong finish to the campaign in North London as he helped Mikel Arteta’s side to win the FA Cup while he has now made a total of 43 appearances for the club.