Names have been flying around left, right and centre for Liverpool following the departure of Philippe Coutinho for a British record fee of £142m, with potential replacements identified seemingly across the world and Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos is next in line.
Spanish outlet Diario Gol have identified the 21-year-old central midfielder as a potential candidate to fill Coutinho’s shoes at Anfield, however the Spanish giants are said to only be open to a transfer should they bring in a suitable replacement.
Ceballos traded Real Betis for the Bernabeu in the summer having starred for Béticos in back-to-back seasons in 2015/16 and 2016/17, however the move to the Spanish capital has seemingly not gone as planned for the 21-year-old as he has made just 13 appearances – making only four starts.
Despite the report suggesting he has settled into life in Madrid away from football, Ceballos is said to be at loggerheads as to his next step as his transition from a star at Betis to the bench at Madrid has been a massive blow.
The fact that Liverpool & Klopp are more interested in Dani Ceballos than Mahrez scares me. If we end up with Ceballos as Coutinho’s replacement this has been a bad transfer window. He has potential. But so did Coutinho 5 years ago hes now left us after JUST becoming world class.
— 1 SNIFF *SNIFF* (BIG MAN ROBBIE) (@CrackheadClyne) January 10, 2018
His former club is also said to be interested in taking him back on loan for the remainder of the season, whilst Liverpool have been in contact with Madrid to ask about his availability.
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has been adamant that he does not want to lose any player in January without acquiring a suitable back-up, a roadblock which could ensure Ceballos remains predominantly on the bench for the remainder of the season.
The Reds have been strongly linked with Monaco winger Thomas Lemar in recent weeks and have been given a boost in their pursuit as reports have suggested the French club have reduced their asking price.
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Talk will undoubtedly continue until Liverpool officially secure a player which will slot into the position Coutinho has vacated, so it could be a very long January for the Anfield faithful.