Sources: Arsenal beat Spurs to land Ceballos

Dani Ceballos has agreed to join Arsenal on a season-long loan with the Gunners expected to finalise the terms of the agreement with Real Madrid in the coming hours, sources close to the negotiation told ESPN FC.

Tottenham Hotspur, Sevilla and AC Milan also tried to sign the midfielder but different sources told ESPN FC that Unai Emery has been decisive in Ceballos accepting Arsenal's proposal even though they won't participate in the Champions League this season.

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Another key factor in Ceballos' decision was Arsenal's flexibility to accept a loan deal without an option to buy as opposed to Spurs' insistence on a permanent deal being an eventual feature of any deal they made. Ceballos' desire was only to leave on loan as he still wants to succeed at Madrid, even though he is aware he does not feature in Zinedine Zidane's plans.

Ceballos has failed to establish himself at Madrid since joining from Real Betis in 2017, but club sources trust that this loan will help him to earn "regular time" and prove why Real Madrid "made a big gamble" on him in the summer of 2017.

The 22-year-old caught the attention of Milan, Tottenham, Sevilla and Arsenal after helping Spain win the European Under-21 Championship earlier in the summer.

Ceballos wanted to leave on loan to find regular playing time and decided the Premier League was the best place to continue his development.

Tottenham looked the favourites but sources close to Emery said he has been "key" in the decision as the Arsenal manager is ready to "to give him regular game time to prove his worth" and to "give him freedom to shape the game in the midfield."

The agreement between the clubs is on track and sources have told ESPN FC that Ceballos could undergo his medical as soon as Wednesday before travelling to the U.S. to join Arsenal on their preseason tour.

Meanwhile, Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny met with a club lawyer on Friday to give his version of events after being accused by the Emirates outfit of refusing to travel on the preseason tour in the United States, sources told ESPN FC.

With all of the club's directors in the U.S., the France defender was left alone to speak to the lawyer and is now waiting for an official response before deciding what to do next. In the meantime, Koscielny is fit and training everyday as he prepares to be ready for the new season.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Koscielny decided against going on the preseason tour because of doubts over Arsenal's desire to keep him.