Barcelona-targeted midfielder chooses Real Madrid as next team

Recent reports suggested FC Barcelona are set to miss out on a key target to bitter rivals, Real Madrid.

As per Spanish outlet Fichajes (cited by Barca Universal) Ruiz has become the subject of several links surrounding Barcelona and Real Madrid, with both teams said to be interested in the player.

Now though, it is believed that the Spaniard has chosen Real Madrid as his next destination if he decides to move to Spain.

It is added that Ruiz’s contract with Napoli expires in 2023 and he has no intention to renew.

And as Napoli do not want to lose him on a free transfer, they have reportedly slapped a €20m price-tag on the player.

Fabian Ruiz’s Napoli stint

The Spaniard joined Napoli in 2018, departing Real Betis for a reported £27m.

And the 25-year-old has since cemented himself as one of Napoli’s standout stars, notching 155 appearances across all competitions for Gli Azzurri – scoring 20 and assisting 14 in the process.

Ruiz has formed a solid partnership with the more defensively sound Diego Demme at the base of Napoli’s midfield.

The former Betis man represents what most people think of when they imagine a Spanish central midfielder – an excellent passer over any distance, agile, with quick feet and good in tight spaces.

Do Barcelona need Ruiz?

Though losing out on a player of Ruiz’s quality, especially to a major rival, is not great, Barcelona probably do not need Ruiz too much right now.

They have a plethora of promising young central midfielders already on their books, whilst big-money signing Frenkie de Jong looks to have found his feet in Catalonia, putting on a stellar showing as Barcelona downed Ruiz’s Napoli 4-2 in the Europa League earlier this week.

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Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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