Barcelona are reportedly set to face competition from Paris Saint-Germain in their pursuit of Napoli and Spain midfielder Fabian Ruiz.
According to Italian journalist Niccolo Ceccarini on TMW, Barcelona will have to battle it out with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Fabian Ruiz in the summer transfer window.
Ruiz has grown into one of the finest midfielders in Serie A since joining Napoli from Real Betis in 2018. A crucial member of the team at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, the 25-year-old has made over 150 appearances for the Partenopei, bagging 20 goals and 14 assists in the process.
Ruiz will be entering the final year of his contract with Napoli at the end of the season. It has sparked speculation over his future beyond the current campaign. Talks over an extension have not taken place yet, but the Serie A giants are expected to make a proposal to renew his deal. But if he refuses to sign it, clubs are already circling to snap up the Spaniard, with Barcelona and PSG among those keen.
Barcelona have been long-term admirers of Ruiz’s ability and have been foiled in their attempts to sign him on three previous occasions, according to a recent report from Mundo Deportivo. Considering that he will be into the final twelve months of his contract in the summer, the 25-year-old could become available for a bargain price, piquing the interest of the Blaugrana.
The Catalans already have a well-stocked midfield department, with Frenkie de Jong, Pedriand Sergio Busquets forming the core along with up and coming prospects like Gavi and Nico Gonzalez. However, Riqui Puig is staring at an uncertain future at Camp Nou, whereas Busquets’s advancing years mean the club need to find a long-term replacement for him.
Signing Ruiz, to that end, could add quality depth to the midfield unit at Barcelona. It would also enable them to move Frenkie de Jong into Busquets’s position when they gradually phase the veteran out of the picture. However, the La Liga heavyweights will need to stave off competition from PSG, who are also looking at the Napoli ace.
Les Parisiens will need to revamp their options in midfield with Ander Herrera, and Idrissa Gueye set to turn 33 in a few months, while summer signing Georginio Wijnaldum has failed to get going at Parc des Princes so far. Ruiz, who has proven himself at a high level for a while now, would be a viable option to partner with Marco Verratti for PSG for the foreseeable future.
The midfielder is believed to be keen on a return to Spain, which might stack the odds in favour of Barcelona as far as the transfer race is concerned. But, should PSG make a big contract offer, the Catalans might be unable to match it in their current financial situation.