Arsenal and Newcastle have received an encouraging update in their quest to sign a classy midfielder after a summer sale became the likeliest outcome, per a report.
Both Arsenal and Newcastle sought to make midfield additions last month. Newcastle succeeded when landing Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon, though it is unlikely he’ll be the only new face in midfield after next summer’s window.
Arsenal, meanwhile, chased a number of targets in the engine room. The Gunners were locked in talks with Juventus over Arthur Melo for much of the month. However, disagreement over the length of the Brazilian’s loan spell ultaimtely laid waste to a deal.
In the latter days of the window, the two clubs were connected through their shared interest in Fabian Ruiz.
The midfielder, 25, will see his contract at Napoli expire in the summer of 2023. That prompted talk of a summer raid from Newcastle, with il Corriere dello Sport reporting plans are already afoot to snare the classy Spaniard.
Arsenal’s interest was also revealed by the same outlet (via Sport Witness). On their end, the Gunners were reported to have sent ‘subliminal messages’ to Napoli regarding a future swoop.
Now, the latest update on Fabian’s future will be music to the ears of both suitors.
Fabian has “no desire” to remain in Naples
Sport Witness (citing Area Napoli) relay quotes from Fulvio Collovati. The former Italy World Cup winner reckons he’s been told what Fabian’s future intentions are.
“A rumour has reached me about Fábian Ruiz. I understand that the player has no desire to sign the renewal with Napoli.
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“The Spaniard’s intention would be to end his relationship with the Campania club and then be free to move elsewhere.”
If that is true, common sense would dictate Napoli would seek a summer sale in five months’ time. Waiting any longer would open up the prospect of losing one of their most prized assets for nothing in free agency.
Indeed, Sport Witness state Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis would be strongly against losing such a valuable asset for free.
The outlet claims Newcastle saw a bid of around £40m knocked back in January. It stands to reason that Fabian would cost at least that amount in the summer if Napoli decide to sell.
Arsenal offered proven striker as stop-gap measure
Meanwhile, Arsenal have been offered the chance to sign free agent Ze Luis, a one-time striker target of Tottenham Hotspur, TEAMtalk sources understand.
The Cape Verde veteran, 31, left Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow during the January transfer window. Lokomotiv severed the contract with Ze Luis by mutual consent of both parties, meaning he is now a free agent.
The former Porto frontman almost joined Spurs in 2020, but the deal fell through. Tottenham were set to sign the international striker on loan from Porto until the end of the season, but only if he was granted a work permit.
A deal never materialised, but the player is believed to have a long-held ambition to play in the Premier League.
According to our sources, he has been in talks with a number of clubs in Turkey, including Giresunspor. However, Arsenal have also been offered his services.
The exit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona has left them light up top. Though, it remains to be seen whether Arsenal will pursue any interest in the player and push ahead with talks.
Ze Luis has scored 102 goals in 292 career appearances to date.