Emery eyes reunion with former Arsenal man as Aston Villa boss weighs up Real Madrid capture

Ben Stewart
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery

Aston Villa are said to be interested in Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos as Unai Emery starts to look ahead to the January window.

Emery has done a fine job at Villa Park so far and the club enjoyed a successful summer transfer window.

Aston Villa managed to snap up the likes of Pau Torres, Youri Tielemans and Moussa Diaby who has made a good impression so far.

The club also utilised the loan market by snapping up Nicolo Zaniolo and Clement Lenglet on short-term deals. Emery has a good understanding of the European market and it seems like they could be dipping back into this market in January.

According to El Desmarque, Emery will try to ‘convince’ Ceballos to join him at Villa Park in January. The Spanish boss already knows the Real Madrid midfielder well from his time at Arsenal.

During Emery’s final season with the Gunners, he signed Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid. The midfielder went on to spend two years in North London and made 78 appearances in that time.

The 27-year-old has often been used as a squad player while at Real Madrid and the lure of regular first team football in the Premier League could be tempting.

Ceballos is yet to feature for Real Madrid this season as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. He is under contract in Spain until the summer of 2027 so Real Madrid would likely demand a reasonable fee.

Emery’s preferred midfield trio this season has consisted of John McGinn, Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamara.

Tielemans has struggled to make much of an impression at his new club so far and he has already expressed his frustration at his lack of minutes.

“The situation is not pleasant,” Tielemans told reporters. “I told the manager that I came to Villa to play. He understands me, but at the moment, he prefers to play with the two midfielders from last season. He told me that soon, there will be a succession of games and I’ll get more playing time.

“I know that answer doesn’t get me anywhere, but what should I do? As soon as I get the opportunity, I want to take it. So far, I’ve started once, in the Conference League.”

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