Transfer Talk: Barca, Real Madrid both in for Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz


11:55 PM BST

  • Nick JuddTransfer writer

The coronavirus pandemic has made the summer transfer window uncertain, but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.

Barca and Madrid go to battle over Fabian

The future of Fabian Ruiz has been in question for some time, but Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis hopes that a bidding war between Spain’s two biggest giants could lead a healthy windfall for the club, reports Gazzetta dello Sport.

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It has been widely assumed that Fabian would eventually end up in Spain with both Barcelona and Real Madrid linked with the player. However, the coronavirus had put the two clubs’ interests to one side, but De Laurentiis believes the interest has been reignited, and he’s hoping the two rivals will force the player’s price up.

Fabian is contracted to Napoli until 2023, having cost the Italian side €35 million in 2018. In an attempt to force any potential fee up even higher, De Laurentiis is even said to be considering extending the player’s contract until 2025, even if it means doing so without the player’s consent.

Barca’s Qique Setien is particularly fond of Fabian, a player who played under him at Real Betis. Ironically, Barca play Napoli in the Champions League if and when the competition continues, which might give the two clubs a chance to put a plan in motion.

Pasalic makes loan move permanent

Atalanta are believed to have agreed a permanent deal for Croatian midfielder Mario Pasalic from Chelsea, reports Tuttosport.

The Italian newspaper suggests that Atalanta CEO Luca Percassi met Chelsea representative Marina Granovskaia on Wednesday and finalised a move that will see the midfielder stay at the club with whom he’s currently been on loan for two years, for £15m.

That fee was the amount set when Pasalic when initially joined the Italian club on loan in 2018, and he has since become a key player for the Orobici.

In the 2019-20 Serie A season alone, which is now set to resume on June 20 following Thursday’s announcement, he has scored seven goals and registered seven assists in 32 appearances.

Inter the latest club to try and tempt Cavani

Edinson Cavani‘s next move remains a mystery. The player has been linked with Atletico Madrid, among others, and is said to be even considering a reduced salary to stay in France, but now he’s being linked with a move to Internazionale, reports Le10Sport.

Cavani has been unwilling to commit his future anywhere, even for yearly salaries of up to €6-7m. Napoli had offered him such a deal, then Diego Simeone’s Atletico were favourites to land the Uruguayan, but Cavani has been unwilling to put pen to paper.

Cavani has even explored the opportunity of a two-year extension at Paris Saint-Germain, with a reduction to his €14m-a-year salary, but now Inter are said to have offered him a three-year deal.

The sticking point for the Italian club, however, is the salary. The coronavirus has reduced their ability to offer the kind of wages they were able to pay even 12 months ago. However, the length of contract could be key in attracting the proven goalscorer.


– Real Madrid appear unwilling to offer Martin Odegaard the first-team football he craves. The Norwegian has been sensational since joining Real Sociedad on loan and he believes he’s done enough to prove he can handle the pressure of playing in the famous white shirt, but Sociedad are optimistic they can extend the attacking midfielder’s stay beyond the end of the current season, according to El Desmarque.

– Real Madrid are planning on fielding Kylian Mbappe alongside Eden Hazard and Erling Haaland in attack… in 2022. AS is reporting that Madrid are planning a major upheavel in 2022. Seven major first-team players including Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are out of contract, and Mbappe’s contract at PSG runs out in the same year. Los Blancos are hoping to seal that particular deal next summer, with Haaland also in their sights ahead of the 2022-23 campaign. European defences be warned.


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