Dani Ceballos knows only too well why Martin Odegaard has become frustrated at Real Madrid, insisting ambitious young players "need to play regularly" to further their development.

Odegaard impressed last season during a loan spell at LaLiga rivals Real Sociedad, yet he has struggled for minutes this term having returned to Madrid.

The Norway international has started just five games in all competitions and clocked up a mere 233 league minutes, leading to reports in Spain that he wants to leave in the January transfer window.

Ceballos himself is spending a second season on loan at Arsenal, a decision taken to make sure he had a greater opportunity for first-team action.

"I don't know exactly what happens with Martin, but it is obvious that any player who wants to succeed at Madrid is going to grab the opportunity he has," Ceballos said in an interview with Efe.

"I don't know what Martin thinks, but I know I think that when you're young and you have goals and objectives, what you need is to play regularly.

"If you don't, it's like something is missing. I guess that's what's happening to Martin."

Odegaard has failed to score or assist in his nine appearances for Madrid this season, having contributed seven goals and nine assists in 2019-20 while away on loan.

The 22-year-old has been linked with a return to Sociedad, potentially in a loan deal that includes an option to buy.

Ceballos, meanwhile, has not given up hope of forcing his way in at Madrid, though will need assurances over his future role if he is to remain in the Spanish capital next season.

"They don't have to tell me anything," the midfielder - who has won 11 caps for Spain - said of his own future. 

"It would be to have a talk with the coach and the coaching staff that is in at that moment and know that I will have equal opportunities with him.

"From there, you have to earn it on the field."

Ceballos has played in 24 games for Arsenal this term under Mikel Arteta, his most recent start coming in the 0-0 home draw with Crystal Palace on January 14.

Dani Ceballos says his priority is to become a regular for Real Madrid once his second season on loan at Arsenal has come to an end.

The midfielder impressed for the Gunners in 2019-20 before extending his loan stay for an additional season.

He has not played as regularly in this campaign, prompting speculation Madrid would recall the 24-year-old and loan him out elsewhere to get more minutes.

But Ceballos did return to the Arsenal starting XI with an impressive performance in the 4-0 away win over West Brom last time out, the club's third consecutive triumph.

While Ceballos is loving playing under Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, he still sees his future with Madrid rather than in London.

"A third year on loan? No, my goal is to return to Real Madrid and be important at the best club in the world," he told El Larguero.

"I believe that one day I will come back and be able to return the affection that the fans showed me.

"I signed a long contract with Madrid. I have two-and-a-half years left. 

"For various reasons, I didn't leave the club in the best manner. My goal is to succeed at Arsenal [but] my wish is to wear the Madrid shirt.

"For those of us from Madrid, the arrival of Zinedine Zidane has been good for everyone. 

"Each coach has their taste in players. He told me that he needed me to play and get minutes. He was clear with me."

Discussing life under Arteta with Arsenal, Ceballos, who has started nine of the Gunners' 17 Premier League matches, continued: "Mikel is a coach who suits me like a glove.

"That is because he played in the same position as me. He wants us to play forward when we steal the ball. 

"The Premier League is a bit below [LaLiga] at a tactical level but it is more physical. The position of number eight is the one that suits me best.

"We started to get into bad dynamics and when a team has a priority to fight for Europe it is difficult to get out. We have chained three victories together and hopefully we will go up [the table]."

Ceballos also said he would love to be reunited with the Real Betis fans by playing there again later in his career.

"Betis is different from any club in the world," he added.

Erling Haaland is Chelsea's number one transfer target, while a pair of Premier League giants are lining up January bids for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.

Borussia Dortmund star Haaland has netted 23 goals in 23 games since moving to the Bundesliga in January, leading to him reportedly being installed as Frank Lampard's top target for the off-season.

Will Haaland make the move to Chelsea?


TOP STORIES – CHELSEA WANT HAALAND

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has been identified as Chelsea's top transfer target along with West Ham's Declan Rice, according to Sky Sports journalist Angelo Mangiante.

Haaland has been linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

But Haaland is wanted in London as Chelsea prepare for a clear-out, with seven players being made available – Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso, Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses.

Dani Ceballos put his training-ground clash with Arsenal team-mate David Luiz down to "similar leadership qualities", believing the incident can have a positive impact on the squad.

The Athletic reported last week that Ceballos, who clashed with Eddie Nketiah in the warm-up before the Gunners' win at Fulham in September, and David Luiz had been involved in an incident during training.

Mikel Arteta subsequently confirmed the issue had been dealt with and that there was no problem between the pair, though Arsenal's manager insisted he would be punishing whoever leaked the information to the media.

Ceballos – who is spending his second successive season on loan from Real Madrid after impressing in his first campaign – says that the run-in with his team-mate proves Arsenal's squad has the fighting spirit needed at the top level.

"I'm not going to say that there wasn't a clash or a scuffle," Ceballos told The Sun.

"It was not an exemplary behaviour but it is good to see Arsenal is alive – that the team has character.

"We are two footballers with very similar leadership qualities and these things can happen. We didn't let a single day go by. We spoke that same afternoon after training.

"Now we have to learn so it does not happen again."

Arsenal have had an indifferent start to the season, with defensive resilience seemingly coming at the cost of their attacking output.

The Gunners, who face Wolves on Sunday, have managed just nine goals from as many league games, with only 30 attempts on target.

Their tally of 64 efforts in total is the joint fifth lowest in the league, but Ceballos has no doubt Arsenal are on the right track under Arteta.

"The team was almost dead, but after Arteta's arrival we won the FA Cup and the Community Shield," Ceballos added. "It's not even a year since he arrived and he has given a radical change to the club.

"He's the soul of the club and he’s lucky that the players trust him 100 per cent. Arsenal need him, in part because he takes the initiative most of the time.

"Arsenal have to fight to be in the top four. But before there were five teams fighting to get into the Champions League, now there are six or seven.

"You just have to look at Manchester City, one of the best teams in England, or Manchester United. They are not up at the top of the table.

"Southampton and Aston Villa, who last year struggled not to be relegated, have surprised everyone. It is a tremendously competitive league, anyone can beat anyone. But our moment will come."

Mikel Arteta ensured there will be consequences when he finds out how details of an altercation between Arsenal team-mates David Luiz and Dani Ceballos ended up in the media.

The Athletic reported on Thursday that David Luiz hit Ceballos on the nose and drew blood with a scratch after taking objection to a tackle from the midfielder in a training session during the international break.

Arteta insisted the incident has been dealt with and there is no problem between the players, though he claimed not to have got a good view of what happened.

While the Gunners boss was willing to chalk it up as a typical occurrence during a competitive training session, he will not be as forgiving with whoever leaked the information to the media.

"I don't like that at all, and I will find out where it's coming from," said Arteta.

"If that's the case, that goes completely against what I expect from everyone, the privacy and the confidentiality we need. There will be consequences, yes."

Ceballos was also involved in a confrontation with team-mate Eddie Nketiah prior to the opening game of the Premier League season at Fulham.

Asked if it is just a coincidence that the Spaniard was involved on both occasions, Arteta replied: "Whether or not it's a coincidence doesn't change much.

"It's just the competitive level that we demand and the standards we want to set, but obviously there's a very thin line where it is a competitive issue and when it goes somewhere else that we don't support and we don't want.

"It's a contact sport. Incidents are going to happen. It's how you resolve them within the team and within the individuals afterwards and how you move on from there [that matters]."

Arsenal will attempt to recover from a chastening 3-0 loss to Aston Villa prior to the international break when they head to Leeds United on Sunday.

Arteta has warned his players that they will need to correct the issues that cropped up in that game or they could find themselves being handed a similar defeat.

"These things are to learn from and be part of the process we are in, and to try to improve them as quick as possible," said Arteta.

"They happened for a reason. It's not a coincidence or a surprise, they happened for a reason and we need to know when we don't do certain things they will happen again. It's not just a one-off, so we'd better not make the same mistakes again."

He added: "When I lose a football game it takes me a week to go through it, so I need another game. And when we lose the way we lost against Villa it's even harder because it makes me think about things I hated and I don't want to see again.

"There are a lot of things to change, to improve. It's going to be a bumpy road, but the optimism that I have, the belief that I have in where we are going to get, how lucky I feel with the people I have around me who support what I'm trying to do, is great.

"What I miss big time is our fans, because to build something I want with that chemistry and energy without the fans is becoming extremely difficult, because the fans and players need to see they are getting that synergy between them."

Mikel Arteta said there is "no problem" between David Luiz and Dani Ceballos after the Arsenal duo were reportedly involved in a training ground bust-up.

The Athletic alleged a physical altercation between David Luiz and Ceballos took place during the international break, though the Spanish midfielder took to Twitter to call the story "fake".

Arsenal manager Arteta insisted "nothing" happened on the training pitch at the club's London Colney base as he tried to play down the story.

"Training is very competitive and issues happen a lot of time," Arteta told a media conference on Friday.

"And those things get resolved immediately within the team. Not much [more] to say. No problem [between the two]."

When asked if had personally witnessed the incident, Arteta added: "I've got really bad vision from far. That's why we train behind closed doors."

Arteta was faced with another disciplinary issue during the international break when Brazil forward Willian posted a picture of himself in Dubai on his Instagram account.

United Kingdom government guidelines around international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic say it should be restricted "except in limited circumstances".

Willian joined Arsenal from Chelsea on a free transfer in August but has struggled to find his best form for the Gunners with no goals and just two assists in seven Premier League appearances.

Arteta refused to state if Willian's trip had broken club rules, or whether he would be dropped for Sunday's Premier League clash at Leeds United, but he has spoken to the 32-year-old about the matter.

"We had a conversation and I explained what I was expecting," Arteta explained.

"There are a lot of personal factors at the moment as well from our side and we need to be in their shoes.

"Other players are having different issues and sometimes they make decisions based on the needs or the moment or what people are expecting from them.

"Whether they are right or wrong is something we have to discuss but it's been dealt with in the right way and let's move on.

"Whatever happens internally with any issues or things we don't expect, as always we will try to resolve them internally. That's been dealt with and explained."

Arteta claimed it can be difficult for footballers to observe every single detail of coronavirus restrictions all of the time.

He added: "It's impossible because we have so many rules, guidelines that we have to follow that sometimes without even thinking you break them.

"Even in training you give a bib to someone and you think, 'Oh no, I can't do that.' We're all very aware of what we're dealing with and we take it very seriously and everyone can make a mistake.

"It's just where that mistake is coming from is the relevant thing."

Dani Ceballos wants to see Sergio Ramos marauding across Europe with Spain next year before going for gold in Tokyo.

The prospect of a European Championship and Olympic Games double has been shunted back by 12 months, and Ramos will be 35 by the time they take place.

But the captain of Real Madrid and Spain has indicated an appetite for playing in both, and Ceballos would love to see him flying the flag both in his home continent and in Japan.

The European Championship will be played across a host of countries, with Spain having home advantage for their three group games which will all be played in Bilbao.

Everything is conditional on the pandemic situation allowing such tournaments to go ahead, but Ceballos, who is also hoping to double up, sees Ramos as a leader who would lift Spain on the Olympic stage.

"Sergio has earned the right to decide by the performance he gives," said Spain midfielder Ceballos.

"I always want him in my team. He has been a fundamental player, he continues to be, and of course I would want to have him at the Olympic Games on my side."

The European Championship final is due to be played on July 11 in London, a mere 11 days before the Olympic men's football tournament begins in Tokyo.

Ceballos spoke of there being 15 days' difference and suggested that was "still compatible" with being able to take part in both.

Regardless of the exact gap between those events, it will be demanding for any player to fully commit to both.

Midfielder Ceballos just wants to make sure he has a chance of being involved regularly with Spain, which is why again this season he is on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid.

At Arsenal he is set for an integral role under Mikel Arteta's leadership, but there were no guarantees he would be a fixture in Zinedine Zidane's Madrid team.

"You know that to take part you have to play for your team," Ceballos said.

"When a player is happy in his team that is for the best and that is why I decided to stay for one more year at Arsenal where I could develop my game as normal.

"After confinement we have seen a Dani Ceballos that we all wanted. I have improved a lot and I am very happy to continue at Arsenal."

Levante's Jose Campana has been called up to the Spain squad for the first time, while Dani Ceballos and Sergio Canales have returned to the fold.

Luis Enrique's side have a friendly in Portugal on October 7 before Nations League clashes with Switzerland and Ukraine as they aim to extend their one-point lead at the top of their group.

There are three changes from the squad initially announced for September's fixtures, with Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara absent due to contracting coronavirus.

Marco Asensio is injured, while Oscar Rodriguez has played just 25 minutes for Sevilla since signing from Real Madrid last month, creating space for Campana, Ceballos and Canales to come in.

Mikel Oyarzabal and Adama Traore are named in the 25-man group again, having each been forced to withdraw with COVID-19 last time out.

This is a third call-up for Wolves winger Traore, who is still to make his international bow and so is not cap-tied to Spain, with Mali another option.

Eighteen-cap Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas has not earned a recall despite scoring three times in four LaLiga games so far this season.


Spain squad in full:

David de Gea (Manchester United), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea), Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao); Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Diego Llorente (Leeds United), Jose Gaya (Valencia), Sergio Reguilon (Tottenham), Eric Garcia (Manchester City); Fabian Ruiz (Napoli), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Dani Ceballos (Arsenal), Sergio Canales (Real Betis), Jose Campana (Levante), Rodri (Manchester City), Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig); Rodrigo Moreno (Leeds United), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Adama Traore (Wolves), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Ferran Torres (Manchester City).

Dani Ceballos insists there are "no problems" between him and Arsenal team-mate Eddie Nketiah after a pre-match altercation.

Ahead of the Gunners' first game of the Premier League season against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday, Ceballos was filmed twice shoving Nketiah during a rondo and the pair had to be separated.

The duo were late substitutes as Arsenal triumphed 3-0 against the newly promoted side, with Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on target in a comfortable victory

Following the match, Ceballos shared a photo of himself and Nketiah on Instagram with the caption: "No problems here. My brother."

Arsenal tweeted out the picture from their official account and added: "It happens."

Asked about the incident in his post-game news conference, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: "I haven't seen anything. I was inside."

Real Madrid have confirmed Dani Ceballos will spend a second consecutive season on loan at Premier League side Arsenal.

The 24-year-old Spain midfielder spent the 2019-20 campaign at Emirates Stadium, though his season was interrupted by a hamstring injury.

Nevertheless, Ceballos still managed to make 37 appearances across all competitions. 

He scored two goals for the Gunners, most notably netting a last-gasp winner against Sheffield United in an FA Cup quarter-final.

Ceballos, who signed for Madrid from Real Betis in 2017, then started in both the semi-final against Manchester City and the final against Chelsea as the Gunners secured their 14th FA Cup triumph. 

"Dani was an integral part of our team last season and finished the season in excellent form. I love Dani's passion and commitment and he's a highly skilful player," Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta told the club's official website.

"We're all delighted to welcome him back and we look forward to seeing him pick up where he left off."

Arsenal technical director Edu added: "We're thrilled to have Dani back with us for the new season. We all know his qualities after an impressive 2019-2020 campaign, which ended with him playing a key role in our FA Cup success. We're excited to add Dani to the list of quality players we are bringing in."

Ceballos could soon be joined in north London by Thomas Partey, with Arsenal reportedly interested in the Atletico Madrid midfielder, with some reports stating a deal is close.

Meanwhile, Lucas Torreira has been linked with a return to Italy, with both Fiorentina and Torino said to be interested.

Real Madrid have confirmed Dani Ceballos will spend a second consecutive season on loan at Premier League side Arsenal.

Kai Havertz is reportedly still pushing for a move to Chelsea, while Manchester United are considering their options.

Havertz has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea after an impressive season with Bayer Leverkusen.

The attacker may be getting closer to a switch to Stamford Bridge.

 

TOP STORY – HAVERTZ STILL PUSHING FOR CHELSEA MOVE

Havertz is still pushing for a move to Chelsea from Leverkusen, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Germany international would join Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech in heading to Chelsea ahead of 2020-21.

Havertz scored 18 goals and provided nine assists in 45 games for Leverkusen this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Jadon Sancho potentially staying at Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United could look elsewhere. Sport reports United are insisting on Barcelona's teenage forward Ansu Fati and are willing to pay more than £90million (€100m). Meanwhile, ESPN reports United are looking at another Barcelona attacker in Ousmane Dembele.

- Real Madrid are considering their options ahead of next season. AS reports the LaLiga champions will bring back Martin Odegaard, who has been on loan at Real Sociedad, and Dani Ceballos, the latter having spent time on loan at Arsenal.

- Chelsea are linked with numerous moves ahead of 2020-21. However, The Guardian reports they are yet to make a bid for West Ham star Declan Rice.

- After a fine career at Manchester City, David Silva is leaving the Premier League giants. The Guardian reports Silva, 34, will join Lazio on a three-year deal.

- Quincy Promes has caught the eye at Ajax. The Sun reports Arsenal are eyeing a £25m (€27.8m) move for the forward, who netted 16 times in 28 games in 2019-20.

- Mario Gotze is set to have plenty of interest after leaving Borussia Dortmund. However, Sport Bild reports the 28-year-old has rejected a move to MLS side Inter Miami.

Paris Saint-Germain are focused on Kylian Mbappe and Neymar over Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mbappe and Neymar have both been linked with moves away from the Ligue 1 champions, while Ronaldo has reportedly been a target for PSG previously.

PSG seemingly know where their priorities are.

 

TOP STORY – PSG FOCUS ON MBAPPE, NEYMAR OVER RONALDO

PSG would prefer to extend the contracts of Mbappe and Neymar than chase Juventus star Ronaldo, according to ESPN.

Mbappe and Neymar are both coming to the end of their contracts in 2022 and have been linked to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

 

ROUND-UP

- Arsenal are reportedly ready to splash the cash. The Sun says the Premier League side are set to spend £100million on Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos, Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey and Lille's Gabriel Magalhaes, but must sell at least three players.

- With Eric Garcia set to leave Manchester City, Barcelona are preparing a move. The Sun reports Barca will make a €15.5m (£14m) bid for the defender.

- Will Chelsea find a way to land West Ham star Declan Rice? The Daily Star says Chelsea are looking to raise £65m to land the midfielder.

- Liverpool continue to be linked with moves. The Liverpool Echo reports Watford attacker Ismaila Sarr is on the Premier League champions' shortlist.

- Staying at Anfield and Yahoo reports Liverpool are tracking Vasco da Gama's 18-year-old forward Talles Magno.

- Ryan Sessegnon continues to be linked with a move from Tottenham. The Guardian reports Ajax are interested in Sessegnon on loan.

Arsenal are in talks over making Dani Ceballos' loan switch from Real Madrid permanent.

The 23-year-old Spain midfielder had his season interrupted by a hamstring injury but has now started seven of the previous eight Premier League games and is thriving under Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners are back in action against third-placed Leicester City on Tuesday, where building on their 2-0 weekend triumph at Wolves is vital in terms of maintaining their slim hopes of Champions League qualification.

A strong finish could also make Emirates Stadium a more attractive long-term home for Ceballos.

"Yeah, we are talking to [Real Madrid]," Arteta said.

"Obviously we don't own the player, it is not in our hands. We need to have a communication and see what we can do."

Ceballos' last-gasp winner against Sheffield United set up an FA Cup semi-final showdown with holders Manchester City and Arteta is impressed by the player's enthusiasm as much as his quality.

"I'm really happy with him the way he is evolving. And, as well, I love how much he likes to play football, the passion that he puts in every training session and in every game," he added.

"You have to see his celebrations. Whether he's on the pitch or on the bench, the way he celebrates the goals. He puts his life into it.

"I'm really happy with him. I think he is evolving the right way and becoming a really important player for us."

Such satisfaction applies across the board for Arteta, with Arsenal stringing together three consecutive Premier League victories since returning from lockdown with damaging losses at City and Brighton and Hove Albion.

"I think the players are trying their maximum, the effort they put into every press, every duel. It's tough," he said.

"Even at Brighton, where I was a little bit more critical, I never criticised the effort or the determination that they put in on the pitch; just some focus on the way that we competed in certain moments in the game to give chances to the opponent.

"I am delighted with how the team is acting, how active they are, how alive they are, how hungry they are to compete and put everything into the game."

Matteo Guendouzi remains an exception in this regard, however.

The midfielder has not featured since the 2-1 loss to Brighton, with Arteta calling for Guendouzi and similarly jettisoned playmaker Mesut Ozil to be "100 per cent committed to our culture".

Asked whether the situation with the 21-year-old Guendouzi should have changed since he issued the ultimatum, Arteta replied: "I don't know. The reality is that is hasn’t so we are still where we are."

Manchester City could be ready to challenge rivals Manchester United for Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.

Grealish, 24, has been linked with a move away from Villa, with Old Trafford seemingly his most likely destination.

But City may be primed to join the race for the attacker.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDER MOVE FOR MAN UTD TARGET GREALISH

Manchester City will consider a move for Grealish if they receive their asking price for Leroy Sane from Bayern Munich, according to The Telegraph.

Sane is set to leave the Premier League giants this close season amid continued links to Bayern.

And City could challenge Manchester United for Grealish – who has scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 35 games this season – if their asking price is met.

ROUND-UP

- Quique Setien is under increasing pressure at Barcelona. RAC1 reports Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, chief executive Oscar Grau, sporting director Javier Bordas and technical secretary Eric Abidal met at Setien's house on Monday to discuss the current situation. Trailing Real Madrid by two points in LaLiga, Esport3 says Setien could be fired as early as this week.

- Arsenal have made a decision regarding Dani Ceballos. The Sun says the Premier League club will not make a move to buy the midfielder from Real Madrid when his loan deal expires at the end of the season.

- With Serie A promotion secured, Benevento could be set to strengthen. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the club are set to sign former Chelsea forward Loic Remy, who is coming out of contract at Lille.

- Real Sociedad are leading the chase to sign Real Madrid midfielder Takefusa Kubo on loan next season, according to AS. The 19-year-old has been on loan at Mallorca this season, while Milan are also reportedly interested in the Japan international.

- With Timo Werner joining Chelsea, RB Leipzig have seemingly found a replacement from the forward. According to Sky, Hwang Hee-chan will join Leipzig from Salzburg for about €10million. Hwang has been linked to the likes of Liverpool and Wolves.

- Celtic are reportedly keen to hold onto Fraser Forster. The goalkeeper has been on loan from Southampton this season and The Sun reports Celtic want to buy the former England international.

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