Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has joined Arsenal on a season-long loan, the Premier League club have confirmed.

Tottenham were reportedly leading the chase for the playmaker, who starred as Spain won the Under-21 European Championship last month.

But it is Arsenal who have the north London bragging rights on this occasion, with Ceballos agreeing to a temporary switch from Madrid to Emirates Stadium.

Ceballos signed for Madrid from Real Betis in 2017 but failed to establish himself in his first season at Santiago Bernabeu.

Zinedine Zidane's departure at the end of 2017-18 afforded the 22-year-old more opportunities, although he made just three LaLiga appearances following the Frenchman's return to Los Blancos in March.

Ceballos becomes Unai Emery's third signing of the close-season after William Saliba - who has been sent back to Saint-Etienne on loan - and young Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli.

"We're excited to see Dani join us," Emery told his club's official website. "He is a talented player with big technical ability, creativity and precision.”

Arsenal have pre-season engagements with Lyon, Angers and Barcelona before beginning their 2019-20 Premier League campaign at Newcastle United on August 11.

Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has joined Arsenal on a season-long loan, the Premier League club have confirmed.

 

After two consecutive windows without a signing, Tottenham are keen to make a splash in the transfer market.

Tottenham purchased Tanguy Ndombele in a club-record deal, while Spurs are also reportedly interested in Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso.

Now Tottenham could break the bank to prise an Argentina forward from Turin…

 

TOP STORY – SPURS EYE DYBALA

Tottenham have approached Juventus over the possibility of signing star Paulo Dybala.

That is according to the Evening Standard and reports in United Kingdom as Dybala faces an uncertain future at the Serie A champions.

Spurs have already spent £55million on Ndombele and the Champions League runners-up would need to break their transfer record again to sign the £80m (€90m)-rated Dybala, who has also been linked to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus are eyeing Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves as part of a possible exchange deal involving striker Moise Kean, says Sky Sport Italia. Wolves are also reportedly in talks for Juve veteran Sami Khedira, who is not wanted by Maurizio Sarri.

- According to the Daily Mail, Everton are ready to hijack Arsenal's move for Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha. The Toffees are reportedly ready to offer £50m.

- Sportitalia claims Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez has been offered to AC Milan for €42m. Napoli only want to sign James on an initial loan deal, with Atletico Madrid now favourites to sign the Colombia international. However, agent Jorge Mendes has reportedly proposed James to Milan.

Manchester United have been asked to be kept updated on Christian Eriksen's future as they eye a move for the Tottenham midfielder, reports the Daily Mail. Eriksen – who is out of contract at the end of 2019-20 – has been linked to Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

- Staying at Old Trafford and as Manchester United reportedly pursue Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, Red Devils centre-back Eric Bailly fears for his future. The Metro claims Bailly feels he could be sacrificed should United sign Maguire.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Inter have reopened talks with Manchester United for Romelu Lukaku.

Carlo Ancelotti said he has always had great strikers as Napoli continue to be linked with Inter outcast Mauro Icardi.

Icardi – absent from Inter's pre-season tour – is not wanted by new head coach Antonio Conte as the Serie A club try to sell their former captain.

Napoli and Italian champions Juventus are reportedly vying for Icardi's signature ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Asked about Icardi as Napoli also try to negotiate a deal with Real Madrid for James Rodriguez, Ancelotti told TV Luna following Wednesday's 3-3 draw against Cremonese: "A player in the James role can certainly help us in our finishing or in through balls for the strikers.

"I always had great centre-forwards in my career, from Pippo Inzaghi to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Icardi is a great centre-forward, as is Arkadiusz Milik.

"The Pole is perhaps a more complete player, even if the Argentine is a stronger finisher in the box.

"Talking about Icardi now would be undermining Milik's qualities, but I am sure we'll all be happy with the squad at our disposal come August 31."

It has been a busy off-season for Napoli, who finished second behind Juve in the race for the Scudetto last term.

Napoli have signed star defender Kostas Manolas from Roma and Fenerbahce's Eljif Elmas, while Amadou Diawara, Marko Rog and Raul Albiol have departed.

Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool will not be among the clubs chasing Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale as the Wales international will be "outstandingly expensive".

Bale's time at Madrid looks to be drawing to a close after six years as Zinedine Zidane has made it clear the former Tottenham star is not in his plans.

Zidane claimed last week the club were in negotiations to sell Bale with an offer from a Chinese club said to have been tabled, though he did feature for Los Blancos against Arsenal on Wednesday, scoring in a 2-2 draw.

Tentative links with Manchester United remain and though there have been reports of interest from elsewhere his massive wages are thought to be putting potential suitors off.

Former Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince suggested the Reds should bolster their attacking options with Bale, but Klopp dismissed such a move as fantasy.

"These fantastic football players have some strange ideas," Klopp told Sky Sports of Ince's comments.

"I respect them all so much, but they probably only say these things because somebody asked them.

"Bale is a Real Madrid player and if he leaves it will be outstandingly expensive and big wages.

"He is an outstanding player, I like him a lot, but it is not about him. You have to create a team. A team is not a collection of the best individual players, they have to work together.

"Liverpool is a long-term project. The team is really good. Will there be difficult situations? Probably.

"There would be if we bring in a new player, or two or three. I didn't say we won't do anything, it is going to be a big window for sure, but people don't think about the people who are already in.

"Sometimes you have to calm the situation down, pay your bills, have a normal life and live in the house before you build a new one."

Liverpool are yet to make a major signing since winning last season's Champions League.

Real Madrid have confirmed Marco Asensio suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in their International Champions Cup clash with Arsenal.

Asensio scored after coming on as a second-half substitute in Madrid's penalty shoot-out victory at FedExField but was on the field for just 20 minutes before he had to be taken off on a stretcher.

He was then taken to hospital with an injury that coach Zinedine Zidane described as "worrisome", and his fears were confirmed when doctors revealed the extent of the damage to Asensio's knee.

The club released a statement confirming he has ruptured the ligament and external meniscus in his left knee. ​

Asensio will have surgery in the coming days and faces a long lay-off that may have a knock-on effect on Madrid's plans in the transfer market and throw Dani Ceballos' prospective loan move to Arsenal into doubt.

Gareth Bale's future also remains unclear but Zidane may be in the mood to review his situation in light of Asensio's injury.

Bale scored against Arsenal but Zidane said after the game that nothing had changed regarding the Wales international's future, having previously said the club is looking to sell him.

Just 12 months out from the 2020 Olympic Games, sport fans can look forward to seeing the world's top established athletes in action in Tokyo.

But stars will also be born when eyes are trained on Japan this time next year.

And a number of young prospects who will still be teenagers when the Olympics rolls around can already have their sights set on making a mark.

We look at five such talents to watch in Tokyo.

 

ARIARNE TITMUS

Titmus will only be 19 when the Games get under way, but she made waves at this year's World Aquatics Championships, beating the great Katie Ledecky in the 400 metre freestyle in Gwangju.

The Australian holds the short-course world record for the 400m freestyle and won four medals, three of them gold, at last year's Commonwealth Games.

With such pedigree at such a young age, Titmus should be firmly in contention for multiple medals in the pool.

SHAN LIN

China could have another diving superstar in their midst in the form of Lin, who starred at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games with victories in the 10m platform and 3m springboard.

She won world championship gold in the mixed team event in Gwangju this year and if she continues in this vein then plenty more medals will be coming the 17-year-old's way in Tokyo.

 

TOMOKAZU HARIMOTO

The hopes of the home nation in table tennis may rest on the young shoulders of Harimoto.

That should not daunt the 16-year-old, however, with Harimoto having already established himself as one of the world's best.

Ranked fourth in the world, Harimoto won gold at the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals last year and may take some stopping in his pursuit of Olympic glory with the home crowd behind him.

 

TAKEFUSA KUBO

Another who will be able to rely on the support of the home fans is Real Madrid's Japan international footballer Kubo.

The winger was previously on Barcelona's books, predictably encouraging comparisons to Lionel Messi, but he joined their great rivals Madrid from FC Tokyo in June.

Although he is likely to play for their second string, Kubo starred for Japan at the Copa America and then featured for Madrid's first team in the International Champions Cup.

With the Samurai Blue preparing a serious assault on the Olympics, Kubo - 19 this time next year - is set to be a key figure.

JAGGER EATON

Skateboarding will make its Olympic bow next year, and America's Eaton will have his sights set on making history with a medal in Tokyo.

The youngest ever X Games competitor having made his debut at 11, Eaton won silver in the street event in Minneapolis and Oslo in 2018 and is a genuine contender to go one better in Japan and become one of the first Olympic skateboarding champions.

A serious injury to Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio "could be bad news" for Arsenal's hopes of signing Dani Ceballos, according to Gunners boss Unai Emery.

Asensio lasted just 20 minutes of Madrid's International Champions Cup clash with Arsenal, scoring Madrid's second goal in a 2-2 draw and 3-2 penalty shoot-out victory before he was taken off with an apparent knee injury and taken to hospital.

Zinedine Zidane admitted the injury looked "worrying", and Emery conceded his side might struggle to complete a season-long loan for Ceballos if Los Blancos are short of midfielders.

Asked whether the injury would affect the prospective deal, Emery told reporters: "I don't know.

"Our target also was not to take injuries in that match, and they maybe have with Asensio.

"It [could be] bad news, for them and also for us. I don't know if it can change something."

Emery was asked about the future of club captain Laurent Koscielny, who refused to travel to the United States for Arsenal's pre-season tour and has been linked to Lyon, Bordeaux and Borussia Dortmund.

Koscielny has one year left on his Arsenal contract and the coach indicated he feels he has done all he can to keep the 33-year-old at Emirates Stadium.

"I've spoken about him, with respect to him," said Emery. "I tried to be with us in the position here and continue working and finding one solution between the club, between him and us.

"When he decided not to come here with us on tour, the solution is now only for the club and him.

"He decided to be out. I respect him but I have a responsibility, he has a responsibility, and the club have their responsibility. Now it's one issue only for the club and him.

"My idea is to continue with the players we are working with, and the players that want to be here."

With Paul Pogba's future far from certain, Manchester United are determined to boost their midfield.

Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has emerged as a transfer target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United.

And a move to Old Trafford could be imminent for the Serbia international…

 

TOP STORY – MILINKOVIC-SAVIC SET FOR UNITED

Manchester United are on the verge of signing Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic, reports La Repubblica.

According to the Italian newspaper, a deal is practically done for €75million plus various add-ons, with Milinkovic-Savic to sign a five-year contract.

The report comes as Real Madrid apparently accelerate their effort to prise Pogba from United.

ROUND-UP

- According to Le Parisien, Paris Saint-Germain have made a €32m (£28.7m) offer for Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye. The Senegal international is tipped to become PSG's sixth signing of the off-season.

- Lille have rejected an offer from Manchester United for star forward Nicolas Pepe, according to Yahoo Sports France. With United's Romelu Lukaku keen to join Inter, Pepe has been linked to the Premier League giants and he is reportedly open to moving to Old Trafford.

- According to ElDesmarque, Roma and Everton are vying to sign Malcom from Barcelona. Roma thought they had signed Malcom last season but the Brazilian sensationally opted for the LaLiga giants at the last minute.

Inter are ready to renew their pursuit of Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to Calciomercato. It comes as the Serie A side struggle to reach a deal with United for Lukaku.

- According to reports in United Kingdom, Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to sign a lucrative five-year deal worth £100,000-a-week.

- Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi has emerged as a possible target for AC Milan, says Calciomercato. Milan have reportedly failed in their attempts to sign Merih Demiral or Daniele Rugani from Juventus.

- According to widespread reports, Andre Silva's move from AC Milan to Monaco has collapsed. RMC Sport in France says the deal is definitely off, while La Repubblica claims the Portugal international failed to agree personal terms. Milan, however, are reportedly still confident of signing Angel Correa from Atletico Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane praised Gareth Bale's goalscoring performance against Arsenal but insisted nothing had changed with the Real Madrid outcast.

Bale came off the bench to rescue Madrid, who trailed 2-0 at half-time before the Wales star scored to inspire a 2-2 draw at the International Champions Cup, where Zidane's men prevailed 3-2 on penalties.

Tipped to leave Madrid, Bale sat out last week's loss to Bayern Munich, but he was surprisingly involved in Maryland after Zidane claimed the 30-year-old was close to departing the Santiago Bernabeu.

Asked about Bale's performance on Tuesday, head coach Zidane – who saw Nacho Fernandez sent off in the ninth minute for a handball – told reporters: "He has played a good game and I am happy for him. As for everyone.

"He is with us and we will continue working. We play well 10 against 11 and better 10 against 10. I don't know what will happen. He wanted to play and the other day no.

"I haven't talked to him. He has trained normally and that's why he played. Nothing has changed, you know what the situation is like."

Bale stole the show in the second half at FedEx Field, where Marco Asensio also impressed before he left the field on a stretcher.

Substitute Asensio equalised three minutes after Bale reduced the deficit in the 56th minute against Arsenal, who had Sokratis Papastathopoulos sent off for a second yellow card prior to the interval.

However, Asensio's game was abruptly cut short by an apparent knee injury and Zidane revealed he is very concerned.

"It's worrisome," Zidane said. "Hopefully not, but he's gone directly to the hospital to test. It looks bad."

Gareth Bale sent a message to Zinedine Zidane after coming off the bench to score and inspire Real Madrid's comeback against Arsenal at the International Champions Cup.

Bale – tipped for an imminent Madrid exit after sitting out last week's loss to Bayern Munich – was surprisingly introduced by Zidane at half-time and the Los Blancos outcast helped erase a two-goal deficit in a 2-2 draw before the LaLiga giants won on penalties on Tuesday.

Arsenal – who had Sokratis Papastathopoulos sent off prior to half-time after Nacho Fernandez was dismissed for a handball – were in control thanks to Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, until Bale entered the fray.

Bale pulled a goal back with a simple finish in the 56th minute before fellow substitute Marco Asensio restored parity three minutes later in Maryland, where penalties were needed.

While Bale's spot-kick was saved by Emiliano Martinez, Madrid still prevailed 3-2 over Unai Emery's Arsenal in the shoot-out.

Eden Hazard and Madrid made a lively start but the LaLiga giants were eventually pressed back and punished by Arsenal for their sloppiness in the ninth minute at FedEx Field.

Madrid were at sixes and sevens in defence, losing the ball before Lacazette rounded Keylor Navas, but his goal-bound effort was stopped by Nacho's hand. The referee brandished a red card and the Arsenal forward's penalty somehow went in after hitting both posts.

Arsenal were in complete control from that point, prompting Zidane to sacrifice Luka Jovic in his first start for Madrid since arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt as defender Raphael Varane was introduced in the 16th minute.

Varane's presence could not prevent Arsenal from moving 2-0 ahead eight minutes later after a lovely flick from Lacazette sent Aubameyang through and the Gabon international rounded Navas and fired the ball into the net.

Madrid were handed a boost approaching the interval when Arsenal defender Sokratis was sent off for a second yellow card and Karim Benzema almost pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time, but his towering header hit the outside of the post.

Bale's introduction at the break lifted Madrid and he pulled a goal back 11 minutes into the second half. After Asensio's long-range effort rattled the post, the Welshman was on hand to score when the goalkeeper's save spilled to his feet for a simple finish.

Arsenal barely made it out of their own half as Asensio equalised three minutes later – the Spain international receiving a cutback from fellow substitute Marcelo before finding a way past Martinez.

That proved to be the last piece of action from Asensio, who left the field on a stretcher with an apparent knee injury in a worrying scene for the Spaniard and Madrid.

Bale then almost put Madrid ahead in the 67th minute, however his delicate flick was well saved by Martinez, with Arsenal firmly entrenched in their own half.

Bale continued to do it at all ends after he made a goal-line clearance to deny Calum Chambers with 14 minutes remaining before Reiss Nelson curled a shot inches off target.

Eddie Nketiah had a golden opportunity to win it for Arsenal with three minutes of normal time remaining, but he was unable to beat Thibaut Courtois in a one-on-one situation as penalties beckoned.

Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale was introduced by Zinedine Zidane at half-time in the International Champions Cup clash with Arsenal.

Bale has been tipped for an imminent departure from Madrid after he was left out of the squad for last week's defeat to Bayern Munich.

Zidane confirmed Bale was close to leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, with the Madrid boss determined to sell the Wales international sooner rather than later.

Bale – linked to the Chinese Super League – was among the substitutes in Maryland on Tuesday and he came off the bench as 10-man Madrid trailed Arsenal 2-0 at the interval.

Madrid had Nacho Fernandez sent off for a handball in the ninth minute before Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put Arsenal in control.

Gareth Bale's agent is not willing to enter into "slanging matches" with Zinedine Zidane after the Real Madrid boss claimed the Wales forward refused to play in the pre-season friendly with Bayern Munich.

Madrid boss Zidane accused Bale of making his own decision not to feature in the International Champions Cup defeat to the Bundesliga champions at the weekend.

The absence occurred in the wake of Zidane admitting his desire for the 30-year-old to be sold sooner rather than later.

Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, branded the Frenchman a "disgrace" in response to those comments, but insisted there would be no ongoing war of words on Tuesday.

"That's not something we've ever spoken about [missing the Bayern game]. I'm not getting into any slanging matches," Barnett told Omnisport.

"I've never criticised anybody for anything other than what they said or what they did."

Bale joined LaLiga giants Madrid in 2013 and signed a lucrative contract extension in 2016.

And with three seasons still left to run on that deal, there is no urgency from his camp to force a resolution.

Barnett confirmed on Tuesday to Sky Sports News that the player will not consider a loan move away from the Spanish capital amid strong links to the Chinese Super League, where clubs are reportedly considering offering wages of £1million per week.

Barnett declined to reveal Bale's preference for China or Europe, adding: "If Gareth finds something that he really likes then we'll talk about it.

"He's a Real Madrid player. He's got three years on his contract. Nothing can change that fact.

"If he didn't have a contract it would be a problem for him. But he's fine. He's signed a contract and he's fine."

Madrid face Arsenal in an International Champions Cup clash in Maryland on Tuesday.

Savo Milosevic said Real Madrid recruit Luka Jovic is a "goal machine" every big club in the world needs, and he believes the striker will be afforded time to settle at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Jovic is preparing for his first season with LaLiga giants Madrid following his reported €60million arrival from Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt.

The 21-year-old caught the attention of Europe's biggest teams after scoring 27 goals in all competitions to help Eintracht reach the Europa League semi-finals last term.

Jovic made his pre-season bow for Madrid in the 3-1 International Champions Cup loss to Bayern Munich on Saturday and Serbian great Milosevic hailed the former Red Star Belgrade sensation.

"[It's] definitely not going to get bigger than this," Milosevic – now head coach of Partizan Belgrade – told Omnisport. "It's going to be tough for Luka, it will be difficult, but he possesses such a great quality of scoring goals. He is a goal machine.

"It's a big club [where] there is a lot of pressure and it's important how he is starts. He is still young but psychologically, if he can handle the pressure of a big club, things will be good for him.

"He is a player that every big club in the world needs. Those players with a capacity to score 25-30 goals a season, there isn't many of them. He is definitely one of them."

Milosevic added: "I believe they will be a little bit patient with him because of his age, but not too much, Madrid are a big club and they won't wait a long time.

"Luka scored 25-30 goals last season and I believe Madrid are bigger with better potential. Madrid will create chances and if Luka starts well and collects confidence from the beginning, things could go in the right direction immediately."

Jovic joined his new team-mates following the European Under-21 Championship, where Serbia struggled in Italy.

Headlined by Jovic, Benfica's Andrija Zivkovic, Eintracht recruit Dejan Joveljic and Marseille winger Nemanja Radonjic, Serbia bowed out in the group stage after three losses – including a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Germany.

It raised further questions about the state of Serbian football, despite an array of technically gifted players in the Balkan country, who won the 2015 U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

"It's very difficult to answer in one response, I need two days to explain everything. In the process of making the football players at 10-18 years of age, we are far behind big countries," Milosevic added. "We need to improve in all aspects, physically especially, sports medicine – those things are very important.

"Tactically and technically, we need to improve our process. Our system is too old. People working in the system, they don't understand what it is needed in modern football.

"So, we are behind and it's exactly what you see when you see our teams, we have talented players but many things missing."

Arsenal's quiet transfer window seems to be about to spark into life.

Widespread reports on Monday claimed Dani Ceballos is on the verge of joining the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid.

William Saliba could follow him to Emirates Stadium by the end of the week, too.

 

TOP STORY - CEBALLOS BOUND FOR ARSENAL

Arsenal are close to completing the loan signing of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid.

AS report the midfielder could head to London on Tuesday for a medical, with Marca saying the 21-year-old is excited about the prospect of spending a season under Unai Emery.

Various UK media outlets have also stated Ceballos is not far from finalising a deal, while the BBC's David Ornstein says Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba could follow him to north London before the week is out.

 

ROUND-UP:

- Barcelona are to open talks with Lionel Messi to try to extend his contract beyond 2021, according to ESPN.

Jiangsu Suning have joined Chinese rivals Beijing Guoan in the race for Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale but must offer wages of £1million per week, reports the Telegraph.

- Fotosport in Turkey say Galatasaray have made an approach to sign Fred on loan from Manchester United.

- Inter are still eager to sign Romelu Lukaku and have offered Manchester United a choice of €78m or €55m plus winger Ivan Perisic, FCInternews.it suggests.

Ademola Lookman is expected to arrive in Germany in the next 36 hours to finalise a transfer from Everton to RB Leipzig, say Sky Sports.

- Marca claim Atletico Madrid would prefer to sign Real Madrid's James Rodriguez than Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.

- Atletico Madrid are likely to earn a total of €57m when Angel Correa finalises his move to AC Milan, Sky Sport Italia say.

- Corriere dello Sport claim Napoli are pushing to sign Mauro Icardi from Inter, with James Rodriguez poised for Atletico Madrid.

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri is pushing the Serie A champions to sign Tottenham full-back Danny Rose, according to the Daily Mail.

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