​Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos asked Real Madrid not to sell him over the summer, prior to completing his loan move to north London.

The 23-year-old arrived in Madrid in 2017, but featured in just 12 La Liga games in his opening season under Zinedine Zidane, and was expected to leave the club last summer, only for his manager to depart instead.

Zinedine Zidane

However, with Zidane now back at the helm for his second spell in charge, Ceballos was told to find a new club. 

Marca claim that, having agreed a season-long loan deal with Madrid, Arsenal hoped to insert a clause in Ceballos' contract giving them the option to buy the midfielder permanently when his loan came to an end.

They were unable to get their way though as the player did not want to be sold.

Ceballos performed impressively during Spain's triumphant Under-21 European Championship campaign over the summer, which appeared to convince Real Madrid's board that selling him would be a mistake.

Dani Ceballos

He has also made a promising start to life in the Premier League, producing a particularly eye-catching display on his home debut against Burnley. Real Madrid are said to be keeping an eye on Ceballos' progression in England ahead of his return to the Spanish capital next year.

Ceballos is not the first player to have been initially dismissed by Zidane, as Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez were also expected to leave when the Frenchman returned. Yet both have forced their way back into Zidane's plans in the early stages of the season, signalling that Ceballos may still have a future with the Spanish giants himself if he can continue to shine for Arsenal this year.