Football

Liverpool put £74m Barcelona and Real Madrid target Fabian Ruiz top of transfer wish list


Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is aiming to pip Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid in the £74million race to land Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz. Klopp wants to strengthen his midfield this summer and he has put Ruiz at the top of his wanted list, but faces stiff competition from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Ruiz, 23, moved from Real Betis to Italy two years ago and Napoli would like to extend his contract that still has got three years left to run.

The Spanish international, as well as interesting Liverpool, Real and Barca, is also being courted by Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

Ruiz’s agent Alvaro Torres confirmed this week that his client is being eyed up by Champions League regulars.

And the duo are unwilling, at this stage, to discuss fresh terms following a muddled campaign which saw Carlo Ancelotti replaced as manager by Gennaro Gattuso.

“There have been many changes in the club this season, it’s been a difficult year for Napoli,” Torres said.

 “A renewal? We have set aside negotiations for a while, until the end of the season.

“There are very important clubs that have asked for information, and we have already informed Napoli. There is no release clause in his current contract. I really don’t know what Ruiz’s value is at present.”

Ruiz had scored twice and provided two assists in 22 appearances before the Serie A season was suspended due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Klopp is pressing ahead with his transfer planning amid the disruption, which has seen sporting events across the globe postponed or cancelled.

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The Premier League will not resume until at least April 30, but that date looks optimistic at this stage given the spread of coronavirus in the UK.

A joint-statement released this week read: “The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA, understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.

“We are united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

“We have collectively supported UEFA in postponing EURO 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.

“The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that “the season shall terminate not later than the 1 June” and “each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season”.

“However, The FA’s Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019/20 season in relation to Professional Football.

“Additionally, we have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 30 April.”



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