Spanish sensation Dani Ceballos met with Real Betis officials on Tuesday afternoon (4 July) to discuss his potential exit from the La Liga side. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Juventus are all reportedly monitoring the situation with the player expected to make a final decision on his future this week.
The 20-year-old midfielder has emerged as one of the main attractions of the current transfer window following his sensational campaign in the recent Under 21 European Championships. The Betis jewel was named player of the tournament despite his national team being defeated by Germany in the final.
A number of suitors quickly come knocking after discovering his cut-price €15m (£13.2m, $17m) release clause in his contract at the Benito Villamarin Stadium.
Real have been tracking his development for a while and last week AS claimed that Los Blancos had decided to step up the negotiations to complete his signing as a prospect for the future. The Champions League winners plan to sign him now and keep him on loan at Betis for the 2017-2018 season with Zinedine Zidane already having the likes of Luca Modric and Toni Kroos covering his position.
However, Barcelona have joined the race and could hijack Real's plans by offering the player an immediate place in Ernesto Valverde's first-team.
Real Betis sports vice-chairman Lorenzo Serra Ferrer himself confirmed on Tuesday that Barcelona had made an enquiry about the availability of the player ahead of luring him to the Nou Camp.
The Andalucian side want to keep Ceballos at Betis for at least one more season but Ferrer admitted it will be difficult with Atletico and Juventus being also said reportedly in the race. Betis, nevertheless, will be unable to prevent his departure if any of the suitors meet his release clause.
Ceballos has the final decision and it could come in a matter of hours after the player was spotted alongside his agents in a meeting with Betis on Tuesday [4 July] afternoon. In this sense, Catalan press are claiming that the Spaniard would rather join Barcelona to play alongside his idol Andres Iniesta but the Madrid press say the opposite.