At one point, the Antonio Rudiger trail seemed to go completely cold for Real Madrid. Los Blancos were once so closely linked with the German international, but then, all of a sudden, they went from the favorites for his signature to not being interested in the free-agent center back at all.
But after Rudiger balled out against Real Madrid over the course of two legs in the Champions League quarterfinals, manager Carlo Ancelotti reportedly had seen enough. He wanted the Merengues to sign Rudiger, and then that was that. The move is not official, but with a “Here We Go” already in the bag, it’s safe to say Madridistas can expect the Chelsea star at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2022/23.
Who could be next for Real Madrid? Fran Garcia is the most likely signing beside Mbappe and Rudiger, while Aurelien Tchouameni is the clear priority for Madridistas.
But Carlo Ancelotti could have a different name in mind as his next signing. On his Here We Go podcast, Fabrizio Romano stated, via Napoli Report on Twitter, that Carletto is still in love with the idea of signing Fabian Ruiz. Thus, Real Madrid are among the top clubs outside Italy with great interest in the Napoli center midfielder. Ancelotti coached Ruiz back when he was at Napoli.
Fabian Ruiz has become a great player, but Real Madrid have better options
Ruiz was linked to Real quite a lot a couple of seasons ago, but then the trail went cold. He was then linked to Real earlier in the 2021/22 campaign, but those rumors have since taken a backseat in light of the interest in Aurelien Tchouameni.
There is no doubt that Ruiz is an even better player than he was in 2019/20 when these rumors first surfaced. He has taken a huge step forward this season in terms of his control of the midfield and his goal-scoring, providing some delightful, clutch goals from outside the box for Napoli, who were once Serie A title contenders.
The issue is that Real Madrid already have Toni Kroos in the present as the star midfielder with finesse. Ruiz can bring something different depth-wise with his left foot, but since Dani Ceballos has been playing at an extraordinary level, there really is no need to overpay for his former Real Betis teammate in order to sign depth at the 8.
Eduardo Camavinga and Fede Valverde are amazing in both the present and future. Ruiz’s contract renewal is stalling with Napoli due to his demands, and while Real could meet them, they have no need to pay for an 8.
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All they need is a 6. Tchouameni is the guy to target. As Romano acknowledges, Ruiz is not the only player Real Madrid is tracking in midfield, and when we look at the other options, Ruiz is not close to Tchouameni as a priority – or even Jude Bellingham in 2023.