Fabián Ruiz is the man Real Madrid have down as their number one priority to strengthen the midfield – the club’s interest goes all the way back to last summer. Negotiations have continued at a steady pace and have been stepped up over the past couple of months as Madrid are closely following what happens with the player’s contract and the possibility that he might either renew with Napoli, or leave.
Madrid’s idea is to sign him this summer and the club is willing to put in a significant offer as they already know that there is no chance Napoli will give any kind of discount. Napoli are stable economically, they have no financial issues and so there is no reason why they would allow a player who is key to Gennaro Gattuso’s plans leave for anything less than he is worth. If the decision has been already made in the back offices at the Bernabéu, the transfer fee would be exactly the same as before the coronavirus crisis rocked European football. The Italians are willing to listen to Madrid… but their evaluation of the player remains unchanged.
Napoli’s demands for Fabián
Confronted with that situation, Fabián knows that his decision to renew his contract or not will play an important role in the operation. As things stand, he is under contract until June 2023, which means there is no rush for him to reconsider his future. However, there is another key factor – he doesn’t have a buy-out clause. The midfielder knows that Madrid won’t be willing to pay a sum in excess of 100 million euros, which is the kind of fee Napoli would demand. And that is why Fabián has not come back with a straight answer in the initial contract talks with the club. Both have agreed to reopen negotiations once the season has ended. Fabián, who knows all about Madrid’s interest, would only be willing to accept a contract extension on the condition that his buy-out would be set at a figure that Madrid would be able to meet – either this summer or the following one.
Madrid’s technical department know that they have the edge of other interested clubs in the race to sign Fabián, but they are keen to ensure that the player knows their interest isn’t fading. Barcelona have stepped up their efforts to land the player during the past few months – and especially since Quique Setién’s arrival, although they know that Real Madrid are better placed. Fabián knows that Madrid’s interest goes a long way back as they’ve tried to sign him before. But that operation hit the rocks because De Laurentiis refused to negotiate and both the player and Madrid agreed to leave talks for another time. That moment could arrive this summer…