ARSENAL will not attempt to buy Dani Ceballos when his loan deal with Real Madrid expires.
Spanish international Ceballos was the Gunners’ FA Cup hero with the extra-time winner during Sunday’s quarter-final victory at Sheffield United.
It was only last week that Arsenal agreed a deal with Madrid to extend his stay at the Emirates to the end of the season.
But the 23-year-old midfielder has not done enough to convince manager Mikel Arteta to sign him on a permanent basis in spite of Sunday’s heroics.
And now his future is up in the air as he is unwilling to return to Madrid where he does not figure in Zinedine Zidane’s plans.
But there was no option for a permanent deal and no transfer fee was ever discussed between the two clubs.
Unai Emery saw Ceballos as a potential box-to-box replacement for Aaron Ramsey and the player made an instant impression on Arsenal fans with a brilliant full debut against Burnley in August.
But he was unable to sustain that level of performance before a hamstring strain sustained in the Europa League against Vitoria Guimaraes ruled him out for two months.
By the time he was ready to return to action, Emery had been replaced by Arteta and he struggled to make an impression on the new manager.
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And though he has returned to the starting line-up in recent weeks, his performances have not justified paying the £30million fee which Real Madrid are expected to demand.
And with money so tight as Arsenal face up to a fourth year out of the Champions League, Arteta has opted to give more opportunities to youngsters such as Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles rather than splash out on Ceballos.
Ceballos, who cost Real Madrid £15million when they signed him from Real Betis in 2017, admitted: “Next year I want to play and I will hardly be able to do that at Real Madrid.
“I am not closing the door on any club and I do not rule out continuing with a team in the Premier League.”