Real Betis coach Quique Setién has stated that Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos wants to return to boyhood club Real Betis.
Ceballos struggling for minutes at Madrid
Ceballos is out of favour at Real Madrid. The central midfielder has featured sporadically since joining from Betis in the summer. He has failed to make the squad for Madrid’s two LaLiga matches in 2018 – against Celta Vigo and Villarreal.
In the news conference ahead of the match between Betis and Leganés on Monday evening, Setién said: “Before he went in the summer, I said to him [Ceballos] that I thought it was brilliant that he was signing for Real Madrid, it represents a big growth in his status. But he knew the difficulties he was going to face.”
“The reality is that it’s very difficult to play at Real Madrid,” added Setién, who masterminded a 3-5 victory against Sevilla in the derby last weekend, “at the time I tried to convince him to stay for this year and help us, and that’s the same feeling that I have now.”
“Dani was looking forward to playing more and he isn’t doing so. There’s a World Cup ahead, and it’s difficult if you’re not playing. The next five months are important for his life and his future, and we’ve talked about that.”
Setién wants to tempt Ceballos, despite RFEF complication
Setién retains hope that he will be able to tempt Ceballos back to Betis – who sit in 11th position in LaLiga – on a loan deal.
“He has always showed his love for the club. Is it impossible? We’re weighing up the circumstances, it’s not clear. Nor is it clear whether Real Madrid would allow it. It would suit Betis perfectly if he were to come and lend a hand, and he wants to come.”
Even if there is appetite for the move on the part both clubs and the player, Spanish federation (RFEF) rules make a return to Betis complicated. Article 126.5 of the RFEF's General Regulations states that a player cannot obtain a license at a club if, in the same season, their license at the club has already been cancelled. Betis will presumably seek clarification on the rule, given that Ceballos has not played for them in 2017-18.