Arsenal on red alert as Fabian Ruiz makes contract decision and rules out Newcastle move

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Arsenal may have been handed a major boost regarding their interest in negotiating a move for Fabian Ruiz, who has rejected the offer of a new and improved contract at Napoli, according to reports. The Gunners are believed to be in the hunt to land a new central midfielder ahead of next season and have been credited with a long-standing interest in Ruiz, but have failed to launch a concrete move for his services as of yet.

Ruiz has registered 38 appearances for Napoli in all competitions over the course of this season, chipping in with seven goals and five assists in the process. He looks set to leave the Italian heavyweights in the not-too-distant future, though, after turning down the offer of an extension with his current employers, according to GIFN.

Napoli are said to be worried about the prospect of losing Ruiz this summer, with his current deal set to expire in around a year’s time. It seems as though Arsenal could soon emerge as the frontrunners in the race to secure his signature given their heavy interest in bringing him to the Emirates Stadium in order to reinforce their ranks in the middle of the park.

Newcastle United have also been credited with a desire to land Ruiz, who joined Napoli from Real Betis in the summer of 2018 for a transfer fee in the region of £27million. However, the midfielder reportedly has no interest in signing for the Magpies, which suggests that Arsenal will be the only Premier League side in the frame to snap him up over the coming weeks and months.

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The Gunners could face plenty of competition from abroad, though, with Real Madrid and Barcelona having been weighing up the idea of launching potential moves for Ruiz over the course of this season. The player remained coy when quizzed on his Napoli future earlier this year but it remains to be seen whether he will eventually be shipped out when the bidding opens this summer.

“It’s flattering to hear about clubs’ interest in me, that’s for sure,” said Ruiz. “Right now, I only think of Napoli, I am very comfortable here and we have big challenges ahead. The idea of returning to Spain in the future is always present: it is my home.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is thought to have plenty of other irons in the fire if a move for Ruiz fails to come to fruition over the next few months, with the likes of Youri Tielemans and Ruben Neves having been mentioned as potential alternatives. The Spaniard has already underlined the importance of getting things right in terms of player recruitment this summer as he aims to prepare for a fresh assault on the Premier League’s upper reaches next season.

“I think now is the moment we have to go to a different level,” Arteta recently told Sky Sports. “We have been able to get the squad balance in a much better shape.

“Financially, we are in a much more stable position with the money we have spent on certain players touching the pitch for a certain amount of minutes. That balance is much better spread out across the squad and now is the moment to raise the quality.”

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