Arsenal are keeping tabs on Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz ahead of a potential summer move, The Mirror reports.
The Gunners were eyeing a new defensive midfielder in January, but were unsuccessful in recruiting any of their transfer targets.
They could renew their pursuit during the summer, and it is reported that Ruiz is one of the players being closely monitored.
Ruiz, who is also on the radar of Real Madrid and Barcelona, could be available for a cut-price fee of £16 million.
The Spain international is currently contracted to Napoli until June 2023. He has no plans of putting pen-to-paper on a renewal.
An ideal midfield signing for Mikel Arteta
The Gunners currently have Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga as the specialist senior midfielders.
Elneny may leave when his contract expires this summer while on-loan Lucas Torreira and Ainsley Maitland-Niles could also be sold.
Meanwhile, there have been suggestions that Roma could return for Xhaka, having failed to sign him in the last summer transfer window.
Considering this, the north London giants could pursue more than one midfielder. Ruiz would be a quality addition to the squad.
The 25-year-old fits into the Gunners’ policy of recruiting young players with experience. Ruiz has proved himself on the big stage.
Ruiz can play in both the central and defensive midfield roles. He has averaged nearly two tackles per game in the current Serie A season.
However, his main strength lies in his distribution. The Spaniard has completed 91.6 percent of his passes with 4.6 long balls per game.
He has also chipped in with nine goal contributions (five goals and four assists) and could be an ideal signing for manager Mikel Arteta.
Champions League football could be essential to landing him, particularly with interest from La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.