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Manchester United linked (not credibly) with Real Betis midfielder Fabian Ruiz, also a target for Barcelona

Manchester United have been linked to Real Betis midfielder Fabian Ruiz this summer in what is said to be a £26.3 million deal. The 22-year-old played a total of 34 times in La Liga last season, playing 2,662 minutes of football, scoring three goals and assisting six more. Barcelona has been the main club interested in Ruiz this summer according to reports with the Daily Mail reporting in April that the Catalan club holds an interest in the player, who has a £26 million (€30 million) release clause in his contract.

Sports Mole has attributed their initial report to Don Balon, who are not the most reliable source when it comes to football transfer information. I never take anything seriously when it comes to Don Balon, but this report intrigued me as an under the radar transfer, such as this one, is something that Manchester United have done before. In the summer of 2016, Jose Mourinho’s first signing was Eric Bailly, a name that many did not know at the time and the moans about his transfer were very loud at the time.

Obviously, there is nothing to say United are signing Ruiz but if Barcelona are after the player, there would be a good reason for United to get involved, especially when midfielders are what the club needs this summer with the retirement of Michael Carrick and the likelihood that Marouane Fellaini will leave the club on the expiry of his contract this summer. Reports suggested Fred would be United’s first signing this summer, which has been reported earlier today. There could be a smokescreen here, but that may not be the case.

Spanish daily Mundo Deportivo reported in April that Barcelona were interested in Ruiz, which is where the Daily Mail seemingly got their information from. It was said that the Catalan club were seeking to bring Ruiz in to replace iconic midfielder Andres Iniesta, who played his last game for the club at the weekend. It is said that Ruiz has impressed with his composed performances for Real Betis this season. The report said nothing about other teams interested in the player, which is where the surprise today comes from.

Ruiz is not a full international for Spain and has only played five times for Spain’s U21 side since last year. If United were interested in the player, I am sure they would have scouted him. If they have, it has gone under the radar and the Spanish club have either not known about it or agreed to keep it quiet. Obviously, if Ruiz is a player that would make the jump to a big team this summer, Real Betis would rather see the 22-year-old leave for a foreign club, such as United, rather than a league rival, such as Barcelona.

This is all supposition right now but I am sure the clickbait media in the UK will start jumping on this story, turning it into fact and reporting as if Fabian Ruiz was on his way to the Old Trafford club. Then if he signs for Barcelona, it will be said that he rejected the club, which gives the media a saga to run, then a negative article aimed at the club, when in actual fact, the original report, which came from Don Balon, was probably made up with no real link to Manchester United. For now, we wait an see if any credible reports come forth.

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