Barcelona enter race to sign Dani Ceballos - Real Betis vice-president
Barcelona have joined rivals Real Madrid in the race for midfielder Dani Ceballos, Real Betis vice-president Lorenzo Serra Ferrer has said.
Marca reported that the battle for Spain under-21 international Ceballos was set to spark "a new war" between the Liga giants.
Asked whether Barcelona had asked about Ceballos, Ferrer told a news conference: "They [Barcelona] asked me what my opinion of Dani was, and I gave it to them, and you can imagine what it was."
AS recently reported that Madrid were prepared to pay Betis more than the €15 million release clause in Ceballos' contract.
Betis president Angel Haro denied reports that talks were set to take place this week.
He told a news conference: "We are not waiting for any type of meeting with Real Madrid over Dani Ceballos."
Ceballos, 20, recently said he had several potential suitors but Betis remain hopeful they can convince him to stay, with his contract due to run until 2020.
"We love him and we value him here," Ferrer said. "We hope he can continue with us, not just for one season but for many more.
"We had a nice and respectful conversation. We spoke about things but not going into specifics about one team or another.
"Tomorrow or the next day he will talk to the coach [Quique Setien] and we will see if between all of us we can convince him.
Marca reported that Ferrer would rather see Ceballos join Barcelona, whom he coached in the 2000-01 season, than Real Madrid.
The player made his senior debut for Betis in 2014 after coming through the club's youth ranks and has been a regular ever since.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.