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Manchester United have reportedly identified Napoli's Fabian Ruiz as their preferred alternative to West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.
Rice has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford and got United fans excited recently when he spoke glowingly about playing in the stadium following an impressive display in a 1-0 defeat.
The England international has also attracted interest from Chelsea and Manchester City but West Ham are said to want £100 million for their prize asset.
Although they are desperate for a top-class midfielder and see Rice as the perfect candidate, United are exploring other targets.
And they like the look of the versatile Ruiz, who has caught the eye with a number of accomplished midfield showings for Napoli and Spain.
The 25-year-old's contract is due to expire in 18 months and both Ruiz and Napoli have failed to strike any sort of agreement as of yet.
Capped 15 times for Spain and a member of Luis Enrique''s Euro 2020 squad that reached the semi-finals, Napoli paid Ruiz's €30 million release clause to bring him in from Real Betis in the summer of 2018.
The left-footed central midfielder has gone on to play 150 times for Napoli, scoring 20 times and winning the Coppa Italia.
La Repubblica say United see Ruiz as "plan B" to Rice and are in "pole position" ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal.
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are also admirers and could tempt Ruiz into a return to his homeland, while Newcastle failed with an ambitious move before completing a €42.5 million deal for Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.