Arsenal and Liverpool have stepped up their interest in Real Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos whose contract with the Spanish club expires next summer. The 19-year-old has been compared to Cesc Fabregas, who had set England alight after coming to Arsenal as a 16-year-old.

The Mirror reports that the midfielder has a release clause of £7.5m ($12m) and both clubs are looking to make the first move in a bid to land the player in January. The Premier League giants are confident that they can land Ceballos on a cut-price deal with Betis worried that they may lose the player on a free transfer next summer.

In January, Ceballos will be eligible to sign a pre-contract with any club he desires, based outside of Spain, but the La Liga club will be looking to quash that opportunity in a bid to cash in on his talent. He has already caught the ye of clubs across Europe with his performance in the U-19 European Championships where Spain prevailed as the eventual champions.

The Gunners have been heavily criticised this summer for their failure to sign a single outfield player in the entire transfer window, with their only acquisition coming in the form of Petr Cech from Chelsea. On the other hand, Liverpool have made no attempts to check their spending in check, bringing in seven players in a bid to get back into the top four.

Ceballos made 34 starts for Betis last term and has started in the two games played thus far in the season, underlining his importance to the team. Real Madrid were also reportedly interested in signing the midfielder but club President Juan Carlos Ollero repudiated any claims regarding the same. "The intention to renew old Ceballos is at Betis, since September of this past season , "Ollero told Cadena Cope.