Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has offered an apology to midfielder Dani Ceballos after giving him just 29 seconds against Leganes last week.
The midfielder emerged from the bench at the Butarque in the 3-1 victory last Wednesday – to be handed 29 seconds on the pitch for Los Blancos, leaving Zidane open to questions about his future prior to the 4-0 win over Alaves on Saturday afternoon.
The Frenchman told reporters that he admired Ceballos and offered an apology for his lack of minutes, having gained just 17 minutes in that victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
“I felt very bad for the change, so I’m very sorry,” Zidane said. “I’ve told him that. He’s a charming lad, who works hard, knows he’s young and knows he has a lot to learn.
“I remember the game he had against Alaves precisely, when scored two goals. I’m delighted with him. Now he has to keep thinking he’s going to get minutes.”
Having been the star of last summer for Spain’s U21 side in Poland where they finished runners up in the European championships, Ceballos was quickly linked with a move to both Barcelona and Madrid.
The latter were quick to pursue a move and the 21-year-old moved to the Santiago Bernabeu from Real Betis for a fee believed to be in the region of €20m.
However, a lack of playing time has seen the midfielder make just two starts for Los Blancos and it is understood that a summer exit will be forced come the end of the season.
A whole host of Premier League sides have shown interest, whilst Italian side Roma have also been mentioned with interest.
However, it is former club Betis, who have been keen to bring him back, failing to agree a loan deal in January due to La Liga rules.
Ceballos, is reportedly even more desperate for an exit after the 29-second showing, informing his agent to pursue a summer move, according to reports in Spain.