Premier League • England

Arsenal, Newcastle pursuit of Fabian Ruiz forces Napoli into drastic action – report

Napoli playmaker Fabian Ruiz

Arsenal and Newcastle United’s interest in Fabian Ruiz has forced Napoli to offer the star a new long-term contract, according to reports in Italy.

The Gunners have been linked with Ruiz regularly over the past few months. Reports claim the central midfielder is on a five-man list of potential replacements for Granit Xhaka at the Emirates.

Reported Newcastle interest is more recent. Striker Victor Osimhen is their main target from Napoli, but the Magpies could make it a huge double deal by including Ruiz too.

Newcastle were given a setback recently amid claims Ruiz would reject a transfer to St James’ Park in favour of a more glamorous team.

But the huge transfer funds available to Eddie Howe means they can never truly be ruled out. Just look at the signing of Bruno Guimaraes, for example.

Italian source Calciomercato provide an update on Ruiz’s future, and whether it could involve Napoli.

The Spaniard’s current contract at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium runs until June 2023.

Therefore, the best way for Napoli to brush off Arsenal and Newcastle is to tie Ruiz down to a new deal.

Fabian Ruiz set for wage increase

With this in mind, they have apparently put a new contract worth £2.9million a year on the table. This would see Ruiz take home £57,000 per week, an increase of around £9k on his current terms.

The new contract would last until June 2027, meaning Napoli would not have to worry about his future for a long time.

The £57k weekly wage fits in with Napoli’s financial constraints and would ‘safeguard’ them from transfer interest.

But it may not be enough to convince him to stay. After all, the 26-year-old playmaker could earn over £100,000 a week by moving to the Premier League.

Ruiz and his agent, Alvaro Torres, will meet with Napoli officials in the near future to discuss the potential renewal.

Of course, Arsenal and Newcastle will be waiting to discover what decision the star comes to.

While Napoli clearly have a plan in place to keep Ruiz, it may come to nothing. The 15-cap international clearly has the ability to perform well at an elite club.

Arsenal and Newcastle cannot call themselves that just yet, although they are certainly on an upward trajectory.

And if the Gunners qualify for next season’s Champions League, it may be hard for Ruiz to turn them down.

Elsewhere, Mikel Arteta has spoken about the fitness of Ben White and Bukayo Saka ahead of Thursday’s trip to rivals Tottenham.