Mikel Arteta says Dani Ceballos must get fit and fight for his place amid speculation that he wants to end his loan at Arsenal.
Ceballos is looking into the possibility of stopping his spell in London and returning to Real Madrid in an attempt to increase his chances of being selected for the Spanish team of Euro 2020.
Reports in Spain say Ceballos wants to return to Madrid and find another club for the rest of the season, but Arteta has not confirmed that it has plans to allow the midfielder to leave.
“When I joined the club, he had his rehabilitation in Madrid for a month, so I didn’t see much of him because he only trained with us for a week or 10 days, so it’s very early to evaluate what I can and can’t can i do with him.
“I have heard of all these things [speculation about a move] but I don’t have a comment.
“He has to get back in shape and fight for his place. After that, I’ll make the selection that I think is best for the team.”
Arteta declined to be attracted to his January relocation plans although he admitted that the club was light on defenders following the Calum Chambers injury.
Arsenal have been linked with Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng and Shaktar Donetsk’s Mykola Matviyenko.
But Arteta said, “I won’t discuss any transfer links publicly, it’s something we talk about internally. When we have news, we will share it with you guys.”
How to follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports
Sky Sports will bring you the latest news from the January transfer market with the return of three shows.
Start the day with Transfers Good morning at 9, while our team of reporters provides you with the latest news and insights. Transfer Talk then follows at noon providing analysis of the bigger stories. So join us at 19:00 for the final summary of the day’s news with The transfer show.
In the meantime, the Transfer Talk podcasts will also return at the end of the year with a more in-depth analysis from here and across the continent.
And besides tune in Sky Sports News, do not miss anything with our blog dedicated to Transfer Center.