If the rumors are true, it's starting to look like an all out fight between Barcelona and Real Madrid for Dani Ceballos.
Plenty has been said about the Real Betis midfielder, and yes he’s had plenty to say, but let’s look past that for a moment, because he could just prove to be a brilliant bit of business.
He’s an absolute steal
If reports are true Ceballos could be secured for very little, as it's believed he has a €15 million release clause. Now that’s a deal that will surely appeal to the Barcelona board, and it looks a no-lose situation at that price. The 20-year-old was named the Player of the Tournament at the recent Under-21 European Championship, and you can only expect his price tag to sky-rocket in the future if he continues on his current trajectory.
To close the gap to Real Madrid
Madrid’s squad is pretty much the envy of every team in Europe and landing Ceballos will only add to the strength in depth. When you think about the young players Madrid already possess, such as Marcos Llorente, Marco Asensio and with Theo Hernandez potentially incoming and even Kylian Mbappe rumoured, signing Ceballos will leave the club’s future in ridiculously healthy shape. Barca need to reel Madrid in and signing Ceballos would be as good a start as any.
A replacement for Andres Iniesta?
It’s entirely possible that this will be Andres Iniesta’s last season at Barcelona, and even if it isn’t, a replacement will be needed soon. Could Ceballos be that man? It’s asking a lot of a 20-year-old but he is similar in style to the Barca legend. Ceballos brings the ball forwards from deep, has the skill to beat a man yet also possesses a wonderful array of passing. How about a new-look midfield with Ceballos and Marco Verratti? Might the club finally be about to find their new Xavi and Iniesta?