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Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz has reportedly rejected a transfer to Newcastle because he feels there are more glamorous clubs out there, amid links with Arsenal.
Both Premier League clubs could look to sign a new midfielder in the upcoming transfer window as a key priority. Newcastle have already enjoyed great success from January arrival Bruno Guimaraes. He has proved influential in their recent recovery, but the Magpies are looking further up the table still following their takeover.
Arsenal, meanwhile, can cement their progress under Mikel Arteta with a top-four finish this term. Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard have proved vital in midfield, but Mohamed Elneny’s likely departure will leave a gap.
And recent reports have claimed that both Arsenal and Newcastle are after Napoli’s Spain international Ruiz.
The 26-year-old moved to the Serie A side from Real Betis in La Liga in 2018. He has subsequently formed a vital part of Napoli’s midfield, making 163 appearances.
However, his contract expires next summer and it remains unclear if he will renew. Should he decide to move on, though, AS journalist Mirko Calemme insisted that Ruiz has a clear preference.
“The Spaniard said ‘no’ to Newcastle because he knows he can aim for a more prestigious club,” Calemme told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.
“With Napoli there is no certainty, but the renewal has been blocked for two years and everything suggests that he is the one sacrificed on the market.
“But [Aurelio] De Laurentiis [Napoli president], as we know, never say never.”
According to another report from Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, though, the Naples club have found their replacement for Ruiz.
Indeed, they want Hellas Verona’s Antonin Barak this summer and are therefore ready to move Ruiz on.
Fabian Ruiz would suit Premier League
Ruiz has shown a penchant for goals and assists during his time at Napoli.
In fact, he has hit 21 goals and laid on 14 others in his time with the club. However, he has showcased a range of other talents which would see him suit the Premier League.
As per WhoScored, he has averaged one key pass and 1.2 key dribbles in the Serie A this term.
He has increased the latter figure to 1.6 key dribbles per game in the Europa League this season, while making an average of two key interceptions in each appearance in Europe.
Meanwhile, his 90.5 per cent pass success rate and 4.2 successful long balls on average in the league means he has the full package as a midfielder.
Indeed, he featured at Euro 2020 for Spain last summer and is also looking to add to his status with his country.
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