During the summer, Liverpool and Arsenal were both linked to Real Betis' 19-year-old playmaker Dani Ceballos. In the end it amounted to nothing and, given he's not exactly a household name, it would have been easy enough for most fans to overlook the rumours.
With the transfer window over, though, his name has bubbled back to the surface, as a number of English tabloids—citing the seemingly always present reports in Spain—claim Ceballos continues to be a target of the two clubs. Moreover, both are reportedly targeting a January move for him.
Ceballos starred for Spain's U19 Euros winning side last summer, and he has been dubbed the next Cesc Fabregas by fans of Spanish football. He also has just a year left on his contract, meaning that he could sign for another club on a free next summer and Betis would only get training compensation.
Unlike when a player moves between English clubs and the compensation is set by the FA, who attempt to award fair market value in arbitration, moves between federations are overseen by UEFA, who only seek to award the actual costs a club has put into training a player.
This means awards typically run in the hundreds of thousands rather than the millions. And that means it's in Betis' best interest, if Ceballos is set on leaving, to agree a deal before his contract runs out, even if it means accepting a fee far less than his reported €10M buyout clause.
According to the rumour mongers, neither Liverpool nor Arsenal were willing to pay price Betis considered fair last summer. Both, though, don't want to see the player on the open market. And neither do Betis. All of which adds up to January rumours in September.
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