Premier League Transfer Rumors: Arsenal Close on Real Madrid Starlet; Spurs Mulling Bale Offer?

Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos are both expected to leave Real Madrid this summer.

While the former's destination remains up in the air because of his well-documented refusal to take a pay cut on his $18.7 million-a-year after-tax contract, the latter is edging closer to a move to Arsenal.

With Aaron Ramsey moving to Juventus as a free agent, the Gunners have a gaping hole in midfield and Unai Emery believes Ceballos is the ideal replacement for the Welshman.

"We have been speaking about the possibility to sign one player on loan," Emery said during his pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal's game against Real Madrid on Tuesday. "Ceballos is a very good player. I know him from Betis at the beginning, and Real Madrid."

The 21-year-old, who won the European Under-21 Championships last month, joined Real Madrid in 2017 from Real Betis but has found first-team opportunities hard to come by.

With Arsenal short of options in midfield, a move to London would almost certainly increase the Spaniard's playing time.

While Ceballos is on the verge of leaving the Spanish capital, one of his teammates' future remains hard to predict.

Gareth Bale, Real Madrid
Gareth Bale of Real Madrid during the Training Real Madrid at the Ciudad Deportiva Valdebebas on May 18 in Madrid Spain David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty

Bale's six-year spell with Real Madrid is all but over after Zinedine Zidane said over the weekend that he hoped the Welshman would leave the club this week.

On Monday, the Real Madrid coach doubled down on his comments, dismissing the suggestion he had disrespected Bale and insisting the 30-year-old had asked to be left out of the squad for a preseason game against Bayern Munich.

"I have not disrespected anyone," Zidane told a press conference in Washington, ahead of Real's match against Arsenal.

"The club is dealing with his departure. Period."

"The other day [against Bayern], Gareth didn't play because he didn't want to. He said the club was trying to negotiate his departure, and he didn't want to play because of that."

The Frenchman, who was branded "a disgrace" by Bale's agent for his comments at the weekend, added the club was dealing with the player's departure.

"[His] situation is known by everyone and will not change," he added.

"The club is going to do what they have to do with him."

Bale's departure from Madrid is complicated by his wages and by the fact Real is hoping to use the sale to fund further signings this summer.

The few European clubs who could afford Bale, whose contracts runs until 2022, don't seem interested, and those who could be tempted to sign him can't afford him.

Reports in Spain suggested Tottenham Hotspur, where Bale played between 2007 and 2013, could offer the 30-year-old a return to the Premier League.

However romantic the option might look, Spurs would almost certainly not be prepared to pay Bale his current wages and Mauricio Pochettino admitted he was unaware of any interest for the Welshman.

"At the moment I don't have any information from my chairman," he said in his post-match press conference after Spurs beat Juventus 3-2 in Singapore on Sunday.

"I don't know if we are [in for him] or it's another club. I saw in the media but I do not know which club is going to sign him. I do not know if it is us or another club. It is the job of my chairman to build the best possible club."

Conversely, several clubs in the Chinese Super League could afford the Welshman but a 100 percent tax on transfers means Real might have to lower its fee demand or waive it entirely to get Bale off his books.

According to Sky Sports, Jiangsu Suning and Beijing Guoan have shown interest in signing Bale.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

About the writer

Dan Cancian is currently a reporter for Newsweek based in London, England. Prior to joining Newsweek in January 2018, he was a news and business reporter at International Business Times UK. Dan has also written for The Guardian and The Observer. 

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