Manchester United have not been active in the January transfer window in terms of new signings as of yet, but they have been linked with a number of players over the last few weeks, and the Red Devils seemingly lead the race in signing one Serie A star.
What’s the word?
According to Italian news outlet La Repubblica, United are in ‘pole position’ to sign Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal, who are also rumoured to be interested in securing his signature.
The report suggests that the Serie A club would be interested in selling the 25-year-old, with his contract expiring in 2023 and doubts as to whether he will sign a new deal, giving Ralf Rangnick the opportunity to swoop in for him either this month or in the summer.
Imagine him & Bruno
Ruiz joined Napoli from Real Betis in 2018 and has scored 20 goals and bagged 13 assists over the last three-and-a-half years for the Azzurri.
This season alone, the 6 foot 2 beast has scored five goals and set up his Napoli teammates three times in 20 appearances, which is impressive for a central midfielder and will have definitely caught the eye of the German coach back at Old Trafford, who will be looking for players who can provide a diverse skillset in his midfield to work alongside Bruno Fernandes.
The £48k-p/w star clearly offers a lot in an attacking sense, while according to SofaScore he is also reliable defensively, with a 92% pass accuracy and losing possession just 8.2 times per game. Comparing that to some of the regular starting midfielders at United, Fred has lost possession 11.6 times on average with an 83% pass accuracy this season, while Fernandes has an embarrassing average loss of possession 18.1 times per game and a pass accuracy of 76%.
It’s clear that Ruiz, who was hailed as “agile” by Hoffenheim defender Diadie Samassekou, can provide an upgrade when it comes to delivering passes accurately to build play and holding the ball in his possession much better than those currently starting in Rangnick’s side.
As a result, he could work well with Fernandes, allowing the latter to be more free-flowing in his preferred attacking role as the Spaniard covers the more defensive aspects of midfield, forming a scary duo which could cause problems for the opposition.
With Liverpool and Arsenal both speculated to be interested in the 25-year-old and currently in a much better position in the Premier League right now, Rangnick will have to work fast to ensure that Ruiz becomes a United player in the summer, instead of losing out on him to a major domestic rival.