Real Madrid have stepped up their efforts to sign Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz in 2020, according to reports in Diario AS.
The Spanish international has been linked with a move away from the Serie A side since the end of the 2018-19 campaign, as he continues to stall on a new contract at the Stadio San Paolo.
The 23-year old joined Napoli in a €30M deal from Real Betis in 2018, and he is under contract at the club until 2023, meaning Zinedine Zidane's side are likely to have to pay in excess of €1000M to bring him back to Spain next year.
The talks have reached a deadlock over the insertion of a buy out clause in his new deal, with Ruiz's representatives pushing for a compulsory selling price of €100M, but Napoli president Auerlio De Laurentis holding out for closer to €180M.
Ruiz has reportedly stated his preference to stay in Italy until at least the end of the current campaign, as he looks to secure a place in Spain's Euro 2020 squad for next summer's tournament.
However, despite apparently leading the race to sign him, Real Madrid are likely to have to battle with rivals Atletico Madrid, Manchester City and Barcelona to secure his signature.