Manchester United target Fabian Ruiz has refused to sign a new contract at Napoli, according to reports. The Sun has reported that United have identified the Spanish midfielder, 26, as an alternative to Frenkie de Jong this summer. It is suggested that the Barcelona midfielder will not leave the Catalan club this summer, despite the clubs need to sell him.
United are said to be eager to add a new midfielder to the squad this summer, and the reports suggest that Ruiz is open to the prospect of leaving the Italian club this summer. Fabrizio Romano reported that the Spaniard had a meeting with Napoli chiefs on Saturday but terms for a new deal could not be agreed.
The 26-year-old will see his contract expire next summer and reports state that United, or whoever wants to sign him this summer, could sign the midfielder for £26 million before the current transfer window closes. It is also reported that Real Madrid are also monitoring the midfielder’s situation.
Ruiz is predominantly a central midfielder but can also play in defensive midfield, attacking midfield, left midfield and right midfield. Last season, the Spanish midfielder made a total of 38 appearances for Napoli, scoring seven goals and five assists in all competitions with the club playing in the Serie A, Coppa Italia and the UEFA Europa League.
It has been said that Real Madrid would be interested in signing the player as a free agent next summer with manager Carlo Ancellotti keen on a reunion. However, it is also reported that United have made contact with the player’s representatives to discuss the possibility of a deal. United need to strengthen in the position.
So far this summer, Christian Eriksen has been signed – already taking two appearances for the club in pre-season, which ended on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano. With Frenkie de Jong’s proposed transfer still not looking likely at this time, although a week could determine a solution, United do need to seek alternatives.
The club cannot enter into the new season with addressing the main concern in the midfield as Fred and Scott McTominay have not worked as well as they perhaps could have in the past few seasons and United do need a player that could be capable of doing a big job in the centre of the midfield – which is what United needed for the past six years.
United manager Erik ten Hag is keen on De Jong as he believes that he is the compete midfielder and would be the conductor of United’s midfield, which is why United have been courting the player for well over two months. As the Premier League season starts this week with United welcoming Brighton and Hove Albion to Old Trafford on Sunday, United have little time.
Granted, the transfer window is still open for another month, closing on Thursday 1 September 2022 at 23:00 BST, but it will be important to get players signed early, with three already arriving; Tyrell Malacia, Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez. This season is important for United and starting well could be the difference for Ten Hag and the Old Trafford club.
Written by John Walker