Real Madrid agree deal to sign Dani Ceballos from Real Betis
Real Madrid have agreed a deal to sign Spain under-21 midfielder Dani Ceballos from Real Betis, the European champions have announced.
A club statement read: "Real Madrid and Real Betis Balompie have agreed the transfer of the player Dani Ceballos, who will be connected to the [Bernabeu] club for the next six seasons. The player will be presented next Thursday July 20, at 13:00, in the VIP suite at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The next day, Friday 21, he will join up with the squad's pre-season in the United States."
Ceballos, 20, burst to prominence after winning the Player of the Tournament award as Spain reached the European Under-21 Championship final this summer, and Madrid have beaten off competition from La Liga rivals Barcelona to clinch his signature.
Madrid are reportedly paying €17 million -- more than his €15m release clause -- to ensure they did not lose out on the youngster to Barca.
The signing of the Spain U21 international comes after James Rodriguez joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal earlier this week.
Ceballos joins long-time friend and Spain U21 teammate Marco Asensio at the Santiago Bernabeu, with international colleagues Marcos Llorente and Jesus Vallejo also now in Zinedine Zidane's squad, as well as Theo Hernandez, 20, who has joined this summer for a reported €30m from Atletico Madrid.
Despite his young age, Ceballos has already played 105 senior games for Betis across Spain's Primera and Segunda Divisions, scoring seven goals and providing nine assists.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan