Real Madrid have set aside €70m to secure the signing of Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz this summer, according to Calciomercato.
It follows a report last week in Diario AS that Madrid sent senior scouts to watch Fabian in their Serie A clash at Brescia last Friday night, while he also featured against Barcelona this week in the Champions League.
The Spain international scored the winner for Gennaro Gattuso’s side against Brescia having also netted the decisive goal against Inter in their recent Coppa Italia clash.
Diario AS first reported on Madrid’s interest in the player last summer and he has also said to be a long-term of objective of their El Clasico rivals Barcelona.
“I paid €30m for Fabián and he’s a fantastic player. If some of the European top clubs were to offer €180m we can start talking about selling him,” Napoli chairman, Aurelio De Laurentiis has been cited as previously saying.
It is claimed that the Blaugrana’s director of football Eric Abidal went to Italy in September to watch the Naples-based side play Lecce and scout the midfielder, while City watched him against Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League.
A subsequent report in El Mundo Deportivo claimed that that Barca value the player’s ‘timing of runs, presence and touch of the ball’ and see him as the ideal candidate for strengthening the midfield.
The club are uncertain over the long-term futures of central midfielders Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets.
Fabian received his first senior Spain cap in June and impressed in his debut Serie A season – scoring seven goals and providing three assists – following a €30m transfer from Real Betis in the summer of 2018.