Real Madrid coach Zidane: I felt bad about Ceballos substitution

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But has struggled for game time under manager Zinedine Zidane so far with only five starts so far this season across all competitions.

Dani Ceballos joined Los Blancos from Real Betis for €16.5 million (R236 million) in July but has since failed to live up to expectations at the Santiago Bernabeu.

According to Spanish journalist Cristobal Soria, who covered Ceballos as he rose through the ranks at Betis, that realisation led him to push for a move to Liverpool in January when the English club showed interest in signing him following the departure of Philippe Coutinho.

It is said that there is possibility that Can does extend his contract with Liverpool, but its more likely that he leaves the club for free at the end of the season.

In a "serves him right for choosing them" kind of way, some in the Catalan media will want Ceballos' Real Madrid move to be as much a failure as possible.

At the Reds, the central midfielder could replace Emre Can, whose contract is running out in June, with reports suggesting the Germany global is close to joining Juventus on a free deal. Reports this week suggest that they did have their eye on a player who was also keen on the move.

The midfielder's Real tenure reached a new low against Leganes on Wednesday; Ceballos came on in stoppage time to make his first league appearance since early December but was on the field for under 30 seconds before full-time was called.

Liverpool already have one midfield reinforcement arriving this summer in the shape of RB Leipzig enforcer Naby Keita.

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