Dani Ceballos would favour a return to Real Betis over a transfer to Arsenal if he is not wanted at Real Madrid, according to reports.
The Spain midfielder is set to return to the Bernabeu at the end of the campaign having spent the season on loan at the Emirates Stadium.
A hamstring injury in November threatened to disrupt his season, but he has forced his way into Mikel Arteta’s plans to chalk up 23 appearances in all competitions this term.
Ceballos’ future remains unclear at the moment, but Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo claim he is keen on returning to Real Betis instead of a potential permanent move to Arsenal.
The 23-year-old left Betis for Real Madrid for a fee in the region of £15million in 2017, but has struggled for regular playing time in the Spanish capital.
And he knows he will need to be playing week in, week out to stand a chance of making the Spain squad for the European Championship next year.
Real Madrid are unlikely to offer that with the club being linked with summer moves for midfielders Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek.
An arrival of a midfielder would only push Ceballos further down the pecking order, with Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos playing starring roles.
Earlier this month, Arsenal boss Arteta insisted he was ‘happy’ with Ceballos’ form, but had not held any talks over his future in north London.
He said: “We haven’t had any discussions about it [a permanent deal].
“I’m really happy with Dani and what he’s bringing to the team right now.
“It took him a while after his injury to get to the level that he has and that I’ve seen in the past.
“He’s performing much better now and that’s why he’s playing much more games.”