Real Madrid are the latest club to be linked with a move for Real Betis starlet Dani Ceballos, joining both Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for his signature.
Reports in Spain are claiming that Rafa Benitez has let it be known that he wants the 18-year-old at the Bernabeu and it is believed Ceballos is open to the switch. It is a significant blow for Premier League duo Arsenal and Chelsea.
Ceballos has experienced a meteoric rise after his impressive display at this summer's Under-19 European Championship in Greece. The midfielder played a starring role as Spain went on to claim the title.
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Interestingly, the original report from AS claimed Arsene Wenger had personally watched Ceballos and saw a distinct similarity to Cesc Fabregas. The Chelsea star was originally plucked from obscurity by the Arsenal boss from Barcelona's youth academy and nurtured into a world-class playmaker.
Chelsea have long been linked with a move for Ceballos with the original reports of Jose Mourinho's going back to late 2014. With Fabregas already in their ranks, the youngster would surely be interested by the prospect of joining his likeness in west London.
Now would be the best chance for any club to buy him. Ceballos has just one-year left on his contract and Real Betis are struggling to agree a new one. There is a clause in his contract that allows them to extend it by a further 12 months, but only if they increase his wage first.
Having just been promoted to La Liga and with Ceballos breaking through, it is a crucial season for both the club and the player. Now Real Madrid are involved, however, Betis could be facing the prospect of losing their brightest starlet.
Attracted to Real Madrid
Florentino Perez appears to have made it his personal mission to pluck the best young stars from around the globe and has previously made headlines with the purchase of Martin Odegaard. However, whether these youngsters have any chance of breaking through to the first team is another matter.
Even Asier Illarramendi, who join Real Madrid in a £34m deal in 2013, has found game time at a premium and has been tipped to move away in a cut-price deal. If an established La Liga star cannot make it at Real Madrid, what chance does Ceballos have?
The situation is similar at Chelsea where countless youngsters find themselves sent across Europe in a loan system that looks a lot like farming. For many, it comes at the expense of their careers.
Arsenal are the only club with a proven track record of giving youngsters a chance, as made evident from Hector Bellerin's emergence last season.
Where should Ceballos go if he leaves Real Betis? Give us YOUR thoughts in the comment box below!