Tottenham Hotspur’s pursuit of Dani Ceballos has taken a blow.

According to Marca, Real Madrid may now choose to keep hold of playmaker Dani Ceballos after finding that they couldn’t replace him in the transfer market.

Ceballos, 22, was a star with Real Betis before earning his 2017 move to the Santiago Bernabeu, but he’s struggled for playing time with Real Madrid – as many young players have in recent years.

The playmaker was expected to leave this summer, and it’s claimed that AC Milan and Tottenham have both called Ceballos to gauge his plans for the future ahead of possible moves.

Real were open to a deal at one stage, but it’s now thought that they’re back-tracking from that stance, having realised that they can’t find a suitable replacement in the transfer market.

It is though noted that Ceballos has a frayed relationship with boss Zinedine Zidane having been on the sidelines for so long under him, and it may take some repairing.

A decision will be made when Ceballos returns for pre-season training, having been given an extended break after winning the Under-21 European Championships with Spain, meaning Spurs face a little wait.

Ceballos has outstanding technical and creative ability, and would really bolster Mauricio Pochettino’s options at Tottenham, but a deal looks to be very complicated – despite Sky saying talks have been held.

It seems to be either a loan move or possibly as part of a deal to send Christian Eriksen to the Spanish capital, and neither are particularly ideal, even if the latter is more appealing due to Eriksen’s contract situation.

Ceballos may now end up staying at Real Madrid, and that would surely in turn send Tottenham back down the path of targeting a big-money move for Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso.

In other news, Report: Leeds now competing with several PL clubs for 27-year-old playmaker