Manchester United continue to be linked with a host of midfielders during the January transfer window, the latest being Fabian Ruiz.
The Spaniard has been a regular for Napoli since his arrival in Italy during the 2018 summer window, making 146 appearances for the club, scoring 16 goals and assisting his team-mates on 15 occasions.
According to reports from La Repubblica, United are in ‘pole’ position to sign the 25-year-old, whose contract expires in 2023.
The Italian Cup winner would provide competition for places with Scott McTominay, Fred, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba in the centre-midfield role.
Who is Fabian Ruiz?
Born in Seville on 3 April 1996, Ruiz is a Spanish international with 15 caps to his name.
The 25-year-old began his career with La Liga outfit Real Betis, joining the club at the age of eight. He worked his way through their youth ranks and made his first team debut in 2014.
He began playing more regularly for the Spanish side during the 2015-16 season and went on to feature 60 times for Betis before joining his current club.
According to whoscored.com, Ruiz is performing at an overall average of 7.10 for club and country. His pass success percentage is 91.6 - significantly higher than that of McTominay (85.8), Fred (83.3), Matic (84.1), van de Beek (84.4) and Pogba’s (88.1).
Though predominantly a centre-midfielder, he can also play in a holding-role, as a number 10 and on either wing.
How likely is the deal to go ahead?
A move for the Spaniard would be an interesting one for United, with La Repubblica claiming the Red Devils will likely have to wait until the summer window for Ruiz’s signature.
However, they also mention that Napoli ‘like’ Sassuolo midfielder Davide Frattesi, who would be seen as a replacement for Ruiz, meaning the Red Devils could try and sign him this month.
With United having a number of players out of contract in the summer, including Pogba, it isn’t a surprise they are looking to add another midfielder to their squad in the near future.
Ruiz, who is naturally left-footed, would likely demote Fred to the bench, if he were to sign for the club.