Barcelona urged by Lionel Messi to fend off competition for €30m La Liga star

Having impressed for Real Betis this past season, speculation suggests that Fabian Ruiz has attracted significant interest with Barcelona among those being linked.

The 22-year-old bagged three goals and six assists in 34 La Liga appearances from midfield, helping to guide Betis to sixth place in the standings to send them through to the Europa League next season.

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Nevertheless, it appears as though he could be on the move this summer, with Don Balon, as re-reported by The Express, noting that Lionel Messi wants Barca to beat Real Madrid and Man Utd to his signature with a reported €30m release clause standing in the way of a deal.

Although the Catalan giants have quality and experienced options in that department, the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Paulinho are all approaching 30 and so in terms of long-term options and also immediate depth to allow Ernesto Valverde to rotate in the short-term, Ruiz would seem like a very sensible addition.

Nevertheless, the La Liga champions will have to be certain that he’s capable of making the step up to flourish at the Nou Camp, as they can ill-afford to splash out the potential €30m mentioned above and not get a solid return from a young player with plenty still to prove at the highest level.

Getting the endorsement of Messi is a major deal though if the report is to be believed, and so time will tell if Barcelona can fend off Madrid and United to land what could be a crucial signing.

The Red Devils in particular could do with reinforcements in the department, particularly when considering Michael Carrick has now retired and Marouane Fellaini has yet to sign a contract renewal with his current deal expiring this summer, as per Sky Sports.

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