Madrid playmaker on West Ham Radar

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Julen Lopetegui wants to bring £12.9million-rated Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos to West Ham United this summer, according to El Gol Digital.

The Hammers look certain to appoint Lopetegui as their new manager and the Spanish coach previously worked with Ceballos during his time at Madrid.

The 27-year-old is reportedly someone the new LaLiga champions are happy to send on a transfer abroad next season.

Lopetegui has reportedly agreed a deal to replace David Moyes at the London Stadium this summer, and is seemingly wasting no time in pursuing transfer targets for his inaugural campaign in charge.

El Gol’s report added that during their time together with Los Blancos, Lopetegui trusted Ceballos “enormously”, and the 13-capped Spain international would get much more game time for the Hammers than he has been doing of late at the Bernabeu.

West Ham undoubtedly have a big summer ahead in the transfer market, with a plethora of current players likely to exit and at least six positions earmarked for improvement next season. With wingers, strikers, and defenders of every variety having been heavily linked so far, central midfield has received less attention, with the Irons fairly well-stocked in this area of the pitch.

Tomas Soucek, Edson Alvarez and James Ward-Prowse have been Moyes’ go-to’s for much of this campaign, but with Brazilian playmaker Lucas Paqueta tipped to leave the club, seeking out a potential replacement as a contingency plan makes sense.

Ceballos could operate as a reputable stand-in for Paqueta, as a player who has previously worked alongside Lopetegui during the Spaniard’s short tenure at Real Madrid.

He also has two seasons’ worth of Premier League football under his belt already, making 79 appearances in all competitions and scoring two goals in back-to-back loan spells with Arsenal between 2019 and 2021.

If Ceballos is keen on a move back to the English capital – and his lack of recent game time at Real Madrid suggests he will be – Lopetegui would welcome the 27-year-old with open arms as his West Ham revolution begins.

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