The representative of Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz says Real Madrid are closely following his client.
Ruiz, 24, has been with the Serie A outfit since they signed him from his boyhood club, Real Betis, in 2018 to replace Jorginho.
How good is Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz? Five key things to know…
- Senior career path so far: Real Betis (2014-2018) > Napoli
- Position: Central midfield
- Ruiz has played more successful passes than any other player in Serie A this season (1,488).
- He was named ‘Golden Player’ at the 2019 U21 Euros, an award previously won by Luis Figo, Fabio Cannavaro, Andrea Pirlo and Petr Cech.
- His agent has linked him to Real Madrid, but Barcelona head coach Quique Setien coached him at Betis and has “a lot of affection for Fabian.”
Having initially signed for nearly £30 million under Carlo Ancelotti, the Spaniard has gone on to make 72 appearances for the Partenopei in all competitions, registering 10 goals and creating a further five for his teammates.
Another big move may be on the horizon, though, with several clubs reportedly keeping tabs including the record 13-time European Cup winners according to his agent Alvaro Torres.
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“It’s obvious that there are many important clubs that have asked about him, he has spent three years at a high level,” he told Canal Sur Radio.
Yes, it’s true that Real has shown interest, we told Napoli. But right now, he must focus on his team. This summer, we will see. He is a midfielder who will mark an era.”
A technically gifted but multifunctional midfielder, Ruiz has been utilised all across Naples’ midfield this season, to varying levels of success. Ancelotti would field him anywhere from defensive midfield to wider positions. However, since Gennaro Gattuso took over at Napoli and Diego Demme was signed from RB Leipzig, Fabian has been liberated of his some defensive responsibilities.
Hoffenheim midfielder Diadie Samassekou, who played against Ruiz while with former club Red Bull Salzburg, expects him to become a household name over the next few years.
“That [hardest opponent] was Fabian Ruiz of Napoli, even if he is perhaps not so well known,” Samassekou told Goal.
“It was incredibly difficult to defend against him because he is extremely agile and only ever needs two touches.
“I sometimes try to show my friends why it’s so hard to defend. I’ve played against a lot of good teams and players, but people will be talking a lot about Ruiz in the next few years.”
Ruiz’s standout performance at the 2019 U21s Euros earned him six international caps. His debut coming in Spain’s 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands last summer and his first goal for La Roja came in a 5-0 victory over Romania in November 2019.