Ceballos, 22, impressed as Spain won the Euro under-21 title last month but has been frustrated by limited first-team opportunities at the Bernabeu under Zinedine Zidane since moving from Real Betis two years ago. Zidane made it known that the situation was unlikely to change this season.
Spanish newspaper Marca claims that Ceballos is keen to play in London, with Tottenham also mentioned as a possible destination, but the player is said to favour the Emirates Stadium, partly because of the presence of former Sevilla manager Unai Emery. Ceballos came through the Sevilla youth set-up before joining Utrera and then Betis.
However, both Real and the player see his long-term future in Madrid, so Arsenal will have no option to buy at the end of the loan. Arsenal will also pay all the player’s wages, estimated at around £2.7m.
Ceballos scored two goals in Spain’s victorious Euro under-21 campaign and was voted into the team of the tournament. He has also made six appearances for Spain’s senior side.
Tumultuous times at Arsenal
Meanwhile, Emery has revealed he spoke to Laurent Koscielny three times in a forlorn attempt to get his captain on the club’s pre-season tour.
Arsenal announced last week that the former France international had refused to fly to the United States and it is understood that his decision came after his request to have his contract terminated and find a new club was rejected, with disciplinary proceedings due as a result.
Without Koscielny, a young Arsenal side eased to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids in their first game of pre-season as new signing Gabriel Martinelli impressed, scoring the third goal after Bukayo Saka and James Olayinka had put the visitors in charge.
After the game, Emery was quizzed on the situation regarding Koscielny and the Spaniard admitted he had spoken to the 33-year-old defender on numerous occasions but had been unable to convince him to travel. “He started training with us this pre-season and I spoke with him three times for his situation,” Emery said. “We wanted him to come with us on this tour but he decided to stay. Now it is a matter for the club and for the player. We spoke with a good spirit for both the team and him but this is his decision, only his decision. He’s speaking only with the club.”
Koscielny could yet buy out the remainder of his deal to allow him to move for free, but Emery insists he remains an “important” part of his squad. “He has one year left on his contract,” Emery added. “For me as a coach he’s an important player. Now it’s one matter for him and the club. The club and him need to speak, they are speaking about his situation.
Calls for unity
While the club has been on tour in the US, Arsenal director Josh Kroenke has admitted that criticism of the club’s leadership has been “hard to take”, but maintains there will be no compromise. On Monday, a total of 16 signatories from Arsenal supporters’ organisations, fanzines and blogs published a statement hitting out at Stan Kroenke’s “passive ownership” as the club prepare for a third season without Champions League football.
Josh Kroenke, son of the Arsenal owner, addressed the issues raised and later released an open letter to fans calling for unity. “For me, on a personal level, I’m not sure how to address my passion,” he said. “Anyone that knows me knows how passionate I am about Arsenal Football Club. Is it hard to take? Absolutely. But I’m not in this business to make friends, I’m in it to win.”