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Tuesday 31
March

Manchester City

Man City play it cool over Napoli ace Ruiz

25th March 2020, 11:19 by Neil Foster

Bosses at the Etihad have distanced themselves from reports they want to buy £100m-rated Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz.

Italian media claim the Citizens will be directly fighting it out this summer with Real Madrid and Barcelona to sign the crafty Spain international, while Liverpool have also been linked.

The 23-year-old is ready to quit the south of Italy but Napoli’s outspoken owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has vowed to “resist until the bitter end” when it comes to parting with his prized asset.

De Laurentiis is well known for trying to ramp up the prices of his players – something Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola knows all too well.

The Catalan thought a deal had been agreed to sign midfielder Jorginho in 2018 – unaware Napoli were using City’s interest to ensure instead he went to Chelsea for a premium sum of £57m.

De Laurentiis’ decision to renege on a deal left a bitter taste in the mouth, with City insiders insisting the club have ‘little desire’ to come knocking again for anyone in Naples.

 

It was the same message coming back when the Manchester giants were recently being linked to Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly despite his obvious quality.

Like the giant Senegalese, Guardiola is an admirer of Ruiz’s ability but City do not want their name being used to kickstart a bidding war for anyone.

There is also the small matter of City waiting to hear if their appeal against UEFA’s two-year Champions League ban for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations will be overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Club executives were confident CAS would provide a quick decision but the current global pandemic has understandably slowed down the legal processes.

City would certainly not turn their noses up if Ruiz made it clear he will only come to Manchester, but his huge asking price coupled with the previous bad blood over the Jorginho debacle, reinforces the belief they will not be getting involved in the mix as things stand.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Neil Foster is an experienced journalist who specialises in cricket and rugby union. Neil also has a solid knowledge of tennis, golf and football.

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