Four months to earn Real Madrid extension – Will Ceballos succeed as midfielder sets contract challenge?
- Midfielder running down current deal
- Due to hit free agency in the summer
- Wants to stay in the Spanish capital
WHAT HAPPENED? The 26-year-old midfielder, who appeared to have little future at Santiago Bernabeu when taking in two season-long loan spells at Arsenal, has made 17 appearances for the Blancos. He is far from being a regular starter, having been included from the off in just four La Liga fixtures during 2022-23, but he has played his part under Carlo Ancelotti and is reluctant to sever ties with his current employers.
WHAT THEY SAID: Ceballos has told Real Madrid TV of his plans for the immediate future: “There is no bigger club than Madrid. I have four months left on my contract, but I am going to give everything to show that I want to stay here. I have to grit my teeth and show that I have the level to play here.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ceballos was included in Ancelotti’s starting XI for a 2-0 victory over Athletic Club last time out, having opened his goal account for the season in a Copa del Rey win against Villarreal immediately prior to that. He added on earning the trust of his Italian coach: “I had a great second half against Villarreal and I helped the team with a nice comeback. The coach then asked me to start. I have provided energy and desire and I have shown it on the pitch. I am very happy for the victory, especially in this very difficult stadium”.
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WHAT NEXT? Ceballos joined Real Madrid from Real Betis in 2017 and there has been plenty of speculation to suggest that he will head back to his roots in Andalusia if he doesn't get a new contract.