The Spaniard is one of the most sought-after midfielders in Serie A. He is an excellent passer of the ball, reads the game well, works hard, and can pop up with outside-the-box piledrivers every now and then.
Ruiz has been with Napoli since his €25 million switch from Real Betis in 2018. With several years of top-level football left in him, Napoli wanted to extend his stay, but have thus far been unsuccessful.
Having failed to tie him down to a long-term deal, the Serie A giants run the risk of losing him for free next summer. To avoid such a blunder, Napoli are reportedly preparing to sell him ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.
As per Fichajes’ report, Napoli have set the starting price at €30 million, which has made some top European clubs take notice.
Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona are among the interested parties and are set to try to convince the midfielder to become their star signing. Ruiz, whose current market value stands at €55 million (via Transfermarkt), could also receive lucrative offers from Premier League clubs Manchester City and Newcastle United.
Since 2018, Ruiz has featured in 166 games for Napoli, recording 22 goals and 15 assists. Over the last four seasons, he has only won one trophy with the Gli Azzurri, the Italian Cup in the 2019-20 season.
Fabian Ruiz could pick Barcelona over Real Madrid
Assuming Fichajes’ report to be true, it makes sense for Ruiz to pick Barcelona over Real Madrid.
Barcelona, unlike Real Madrid, are in need of quality central midfielders. Frenkie de Jong has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United (via Fabrizio Romano). The completion of the transfer will automatically open up space for Ruiz to slot in at the Camp Nou.
Madrid, on the other hand, not only have Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro at their disposal but also have excellent covers in Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, and summer signing Aurelien Tchouameni.
Finding regular game time in such a stacked team could be a major issue for the former Real Betis man.