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Manchester City interested in Fabián Ruiz but face Barcelona and Real battle | Football

Manchester City are stepping up their pursuit of Napoli’s Fabián Ruiz and are sending a scout to the Champions League game against Salzburg on Wednesday night to watch the Spaniard in action.

The 23-year-old was named as the best player of the Under-21 European Championship last summer as Spain won their fifth title and he has impressed in Serie A since joining Napoli from Real Betis in 2018.

City, however, face competition for the Spaniard from Barcelona and Real Madrid, who are both keeping an eye on the development of a player who can play centrally or on the left of midfield and has been likened to the current City player David Silva. He made his Spain debut in June and has earned five caps for his country.

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Napoli paid the buyout clause of €30m (£25.5m) when they signed him from Betis last year but will expect a significant return on that investment if he leaves in the summer.

The Napoli chairman, Aurelio De Laurentiis, said last week: “I paid €30m for Fabián and he’s a fantastic player. If some of the European top clubs were to offer €180m we can start talking about selling him.”

The relationship between Napoli and Manchester City took a turn for the worse when the Premier League club were interested in Jorginho, who ended up joining Chelsea together with the then Napoli coach, Maurizio Sarri, but that issue is not expected to be a problem an offer for the player meets Napoli’s valuation.

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