Arsenal rival Newcastle for £26m Youri Tielemans transfer alternative Fabian Ruiz

James Shearman Updated: 22 Jun 2022 13:28 CEST 3 min read
Fabian Ruiz, Napoli

Arsenal and Newcastle are interested in the signing of Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz, who is valued at £26 million.

Ruiz's contract runs out at the end of the 2022-23 season, so Napoli have reduced their asking price from £42m as they don't want to risk losing him on a free transfer.

Manchester United and Barcelona had previously held an interest in the 26-year-old, though Arsenal and Newcastle are now leading the race, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Ruiz has spent four seasons in Serie A since signing from La Liga side Real Betis in 2018.

Last season was his best in front of goal, registering seven goals and four assists in 32 Serie A appearances.

However, he is predominantly a holding midfielder, partnering former Fulham star Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa in a double pivot.

And, the Arsenal hierarchy clearly think he would work well in a similar role, alongside Thomas Partey, at The Emirates Stadium.

He is a cheaper alternative to Leicester City's Youri Tielemans, who's once-expected move to North London has stalled in recent weeks.

That said, the Gunners are still thought to prefer the Belgian to any of their other midfield targets.

Tielemans to Arsenal?

Arsenal have been credited as long-term suitors of Tielemans and adding him would surely prove to be a smart piece of business for Mikel Arteta should the midfielder be convinced of a move to the Emirates.

The Gunners’ season ran aground in the final stages of their Premier League campaign with injuries and a dramatic loss of form leading to six defeats in their final 12 matches.

That horror run featured the loss of Thomas Partey, at long last Arsenal’s best midfielder following his 2020 move from Atletico Madrid, and his absence could not be compensated for as the North Londoners slipped out of the Champions League running at the final hurdle.

By adding Tielemans, a performer of proven Premier League and international class, Arsenal would be adding not only numbers to a thinly-stocked midfield but a player who genuinely improves their options in that position.