Manchester United could look to solve their shortage of midfielders by signing Fabian Ruiz from Napoli, according to reports.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is currently without Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay due to injury, leaving him with few options in the middle of the park.
One player who could help them fill the gap is Fabian, who has impressed in one-and-a-half years in Serie A – a timeframe in which he has made 62 appearances and scored eight goals.
According to Rai 2 (via CalcioNapoli24), Man Utd are set to muscle in and rival Barcelona and Real Madrid for the midfielder’s signature – with the latter duo keeping tabs on the Spaniard with a view to taking him back to La Liga.
It is claimed that there is friction between Fabian and the Napoli board over the contract renewal they have offered, and he is set to consider his options should other clubs come knocking.
Valued at around €120m recently, his price tag is suggested to have been slashed to somewhere between €80m and €90m – while Gazzetta Dello Sport (via Goal Italy) claim it could have fallen as low as €70m.
The newspaper claims that Fabian could be the first player to be sold by the club as they look to balance the books.
The 23-year-old, who made his senior international debut for Spain last year, has a contract at Napoli until 2023.
However, the Italian side are set to confirm the signings of Diego Demme from RB Leipzig and Stanislav Lobotka from Celta Vigo, both of whom would represent further competition for places in midfield for Fabian.
They have also run into tensions over their hopes to insert a large release clause into his new deal to prevent bids from big spenders, suggesting he may have his sights set elsewhere.
United’s rivals Manchester City were also said to have scouted Fabian as a potential successor to David Silva, but the Red Devils’ need may be greater at this moment in time.
The update comes as United suffered a setback in their pursuit of another midfielder, Donny Van De Beek, who admitted he would not be leaving Ajax this winter.
“I don’t want to leave during the winter break,” he told Voetbal International after being linked with a £50m switch to Old Trafford.
“I play here all season, I finish at Ajax this year. That gives me clarity and tranquillity. I will see what happens next.”
Meanwhile, Napoli are also bracing themselves for the departure of star striker Dries Mertens – who has now been linked with Chelsea.
The Belgian is out of contract at the end of the season and could leave this month for as little as €10m – with Le10Sport claiming Chelsea have opened talks as they search for someone to add competition for Tammy Abraham.