'My goal is to succeed at Real Madrid' - Ceballos eager to prove his worth to Zidane after Arsenal loan


Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos says that although he has yet to speak to Zinedine Zidane over his Real Madrid future, he is still determined to "succeed" at Santiago Bernabeu.

Ceballos signed a six-year contract with Madrid after completing an €18 million (£16m/$20m) move from Real Betis in the summer of 2017, but struggled to hold down a regular spot in the starting XI during his first two seasons at the club.

The Blancos ultimately decided to send the 23-year-old out on loan to Arsenal ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, and he quickly settled into his new surroundings at Emirates Stadium.

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Unai Emery favoured Ceballos throughout the first half of the season, but the midfielder suffered a hamstring injury which cut short his progress in mid-December - less than a month after the Gunners decided to make a change in the dugout.

Mikel Arteta was drafted in to replace Emery, and Ceballos was made to wait for his first appearance under the former Manchester City assistant. He did, however, start to rediscover his best form before the coronavirus stopped play in March.

Arsenal are reportedly confident of reaching an agreement to retain the Spain international's services until the end of the season, which is due to resume on June 17, but the playmaker is determined to make the grade in Madrid.

Ceballos told Onda Cero of his current situation: "I have not spoken to Zidane, he is now focused on his players.

"When my loan contract ends I will be a Real Madrid player again. My goal is to succeed there."

The former Betis star also opened up on his struggles for fitness at the Emirates Stadium and his relationship with Arteta, insisting he is "focused" on helping the Gunners finish the season strongly.

"I had to be away for a long time due to injury but I worked hard to turn the situation around," said Ceballos.

"With Arteta, I have had a very good relationship since he arrived, he has given me confidence and now I am focused on ending the season in the best possible way and achieving our goals."

Ceballos went on to dismiss any potential fear of contracting Covid-19 after returning to training, adding on the Premier League's stringent testing protocols: "We are training with a lot of precautions, two tests per week; I am not afraid because I see it being difficult to get infected in training with so many measures."

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