Mikel Arteta says Dani Ceballos has to get fit and fight for his place amid speculation he wants to end his loan at Arsenal.
Ceballos is looking into the possibility of cutting short his spell in London and returning to Real Madrid in a bid to enhance his chances of being selected for Spain’s Euro 2020 squad.
“When I joined the club he was having his rehabilitation in Madrid for a month so I haven’t seen much of him because he only trained with us a week or 10 days, so it’s very early to assess what I can and cannot do with him.
“I heard of all of those things [speculation about a move] but I don’t have a comment.
“He needs to get back to fitness and fight for his place. After that, I will make the selection that I feel is best for the team.”
Arteta refused to be drawn on his January transfer plans although he did concede the club was light on defenders following the injury to Calum Chambers.
Arsenal has been linked with Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, and Shaktar Donetsk’s Mykola Matviyenko.
But Arteta said: “I’m not going to be discussing any transfer links publicly, it’s something we talk about internally. When we have some news we will share it with you guys.”