Midfielder Dani Ceballos is set to return to Real Madrid this summer, despite ‘weeks’ of negotiations with Arsenal about a move.

That’s according to AS, who say the Spanish giants have elected to bring the midfielder back to the club and test him in pre-season before deciding on his future.

Ceballos has spent this season on loan with Arsenal, joining the Gunners so he could secure regular first-team football that wasn’t on offer at the Bernabeu.

That is something he has done, featuring regularly for the Gunners, particularly following Mikel Arteta’s arrival in December.

They had been keen to keep him this summer, but those hopes appear to have been scuppered by a change in plans.

AS report that Madrid’s recent defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League has led them to change their plans with those they have out on loan.

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Ceballos and fellow midfielder Martin Ødegaard are chief among them, and while they had been ‘expected’ to respectively stay at Arsenal and Real Sociedad, that has now changed.

Marca back this up, saying the economic uncertainty created by the Coronavirus pandemic has led Madrid to think about ‘repurchasing’ the players they have out on loan and use them in pre-season so Zinedine Zidane can make a decision on them.

That has ended any ‘talk’ of a possible stay at Arsenal, with Madrid having ‘stopped everything’ in that regard.

Ceballos’ future will rest firmly on his personal choice, though. He wants to be playing regularly so that he can make Spain’s squad for the European Championships next summer.

He wants to be ‘important’ for the club he is playing for, and while it is his ‘dream’ to return to the Spanish giants, it is also his desire to play.

Therefore, if Zidane decides he isn’t good enough, Arsenal’s hopes may be revived, but for now, it seems they would be best looking elsewhere.