8 Sept 2015

Transfer Boost: Liverpool still fighting to sign 'excellent' €12m playmaker. Deal already agreed in August

Last month, multiple reports claimed that Liverpool had agreed a deal to sign Real Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos in the summer of 2016, and new reports suggest that the Reds remain 'hot on the trail' of the coveted Spanish midfielder.

In August, the Daily Express reported:

"Liverpool have agreed a deal for Real Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos to join the club next summer".

Radio Sevilla further claimed that Liverpool offered him a €1.5m annual salary, plus a house and a car.

According to The Mirror today:

* Liverpool and Arsenal are battling to sign Ceballos, but the Reds 'aim to to move first in January'.

* The club's scouts are watching Ceballos on a regular basis.

Some info about 19-year old Ceballos.

* Central midfielder, who can also play on the right, or as an attacking midfielder.

* 15 apps for various Spain youth teams.

* Last season: 10 goals/assists in 36 appearances for Real Betis B.

* 2015: UEFA European Under-19 Championship winner with Spain.

* Has a €12m buyout clause in his contract.

* According to Marca: "Ceballos is the most exciting youth prospect to emerge at Betis since Joaquín".

* Marca's assessment of Ceballos: "Versatile midfielder, equally at home in a holding role, on the left of a midfield three/five or even as a playmaker. Eye for a killer pass {and] the ability to ghost into the box from deep".

Real Betis are desperate to keep Ceballos, and in July, Sporting Director Eduardo Macia told reporters:

"The board have made an offer to the player [Ceballos] and his camp, a very significant new deal. Until June 2016, Dani Ceballos is a Betis player"

* In May, Ceballos told Sefutbol.com: "Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta have always been my role models"

Betis coach Pepe Mel has also urged Ceballos to stay at Betis, and when asked in July about the youngster's future, he told Marca:

"Ceballos should be in no hurry to go to one of the 'big' teams. The best thing that can happen for him is to stay and develop at Betis"

Ceballos has also been advised to stay at Betis by Rafael Van Der Vaart, who signed for the Spanish club this summer. In a recent interview, he described Ceballos as 'excellent', but added:

"When I was 19 I was at Ajax and I knew I wanted to stay there. To play is very important, and it's good to develop for two or three years in a good league, so I hope he [Ceballos} stays here with us".

Mel and Van Der Vaart are absolutely right. Where's the fire? Ceballos is 19, and has achieved absolutely nothing in the game, and moving to a big club right now will probably stunt his development.

If Ceballos signs for Liverpool next summer, he'll still only be 20, and there's little chance of him becoming a first-team regular ahead of Henderson, Milner, Can, and whoever else Rodgers signs over the next year.

At the bare minimum, Ceballos should stay for another two years and continue his development. If he's that good, big clubs will come calling every year, so there's real need to rush things.

As usual, though, money talks, and if the offer is big enough, he'll almost certainly take it, even if it's detrimental to his development.

Author: Jaimie K


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