According to reports in Italy, Arsenal and Newcastle United are the leading candidates to sign Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz. Both the Premier League clubs are looking to battle for the Spanish midfielder’s signature, who is available at a much lower price-tag.
Fabian Ruiz joined Napoli in 2018 from Real Betis for around £26 million and has since been a mainstay in their midfield. He racked up 7 goals and 4 assists in the Serie A last season (stats obtained via Transfermarkt), helping his team achieve a third-place finish behind AC Milan and Inter Milan, ensuring Champions League football for the upcoming 2022/23 season.
The Gunners have already signed Marquinhos, Fabio Vieira and their biggest transfer target of the window, Gabriel Jesus, this summer. They are back in the market again to add more firepower to their midfield department and have identified the 26-year-old as their prime target. The Spaniard has been linked with a move to the Emirates ever since the Gunners failed to upgrade their squad in the January transfer window.
Italian news outlet, Corriere Dello Sport (via Mirror), Newcastle United are leading the race to sign Fabian Ruiz, but must bat away Arsenal who have also begun showing evident interest. The Magpies had their £42m bid rejected six months ago, but have now been presented with a chance to sign the player on a cut-price fee.
The 26-year-old midfield is set to enter the final year of his contract with the Gli Azzurri. In order to make a profit off the player instead of letting him leave for free at the end of the upcoming season, the club have put a £25 million price tag on the Spaniard, almost the same price at which they bought him in 2018.
Essentially a central midfielder, the Spaniard has the ability to transition seamlessly into attacking or defensive midfield whenever the need arises. Confident on the ball, Ruiz possesses the quality to break defensive lines and play a variety of passes. His key strength is play-making from deep positions. He featured alongside defensive midfielder, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa in a double pivot last season.
Fabian Ruiz's market value at 55m and Napoli's asking price at 30m according to @CorSport
— Fanis Tsokanas (@fanistsok_) June 21, 2022
Arsenal have been keeping tabs on Leicester City star, Youri Tielemans but might compete with Newcastle for Fabian Ruiz since the player is available at a cut-price fee. Both the Manchester clubs – City and United – have joined the chase as well.
Newcastle United have already secured the services of Aston Villa’s Matt Targett, but manager Eddie Howe will be looking to make another addition, arguably a marquee signing in this window. The Magpies will have the upper hand after already having submitted a higher bid for the player in January and now being presented with the opportunity to sign the player at a considerably cheaper price.
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There appear to be no signs of any intention from the Spaniard’s camp for a contract extension and the player looks to be almost certain to leave the club. A player of his calibre will undoubtedly be able to secure a starting spot in the Arsenal and Newcastle lineups.
However, the same cannot be said for the Manchester clubs, who are either looking at more expensive midfielders or have already signed alternatives that play in the same position as the Spanish midfielder.
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