Napoli sign Fabian Ruiz from Real Betis and Alex Meret from Udinese
Napoli confirmed two new signings on Thursday as new coach Carlo Ancelotti looks to end the seven-year dominance of champions Juventus.
Last season’s Serie A runners-up completed a deal for Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz from Real Betis, who has signed a five-year deal, before later revealing goalkeeper Alex Meret had also joined the club while announcing also that Emanuele Giaccherini has been sold to Chievo.
Spain under-21 international midfielder Ruiz has signed a five-year contract with the Azzurri after impressing with three goals in 34 La Liga outings last term, having spent 2016-17 on loan at Elche in Spain’s second division.
The 22-year-old joins for a fee reported to be in the region of €30 million after the Spanish club confirmed on their website that Napoli had activated a release clause in his contract at Betis, whom he joined as an eight-year-old.
He was Napoli’s second signing of the close season after striker Simone Verdi joined from Bologna for a reported fee of €25m — also on a five-year contract.
— AurelioDeLaurentiis (@ADeLaurentiis) July 5, 2018
Just hours after confirming the signing of Ruiz, Napoli announced Meret had also joined from Serie A rivals Udinese.
Meret, 21, has signed a five-year contract with the Azzurri and will take the place of Pepe Reina, who left the club at the end of last month when his contract expired — and subsequently signed for AC Milan.
The Italy under-21 international spent the past two seasons on loan at SPAL, helping them earn promotion from Serie B in 2016-17 when he conceded just 26 goals in 30 games, and helping to keep them in the top flight with 13 appearances, including his Serie A debut, last season.
— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) July 5, 2018
Napoli announced the deal on their website where they also confirmed that former Sunderland midfielder Giaccherini had been sold to Chievo, with whom he spent the second half of last season.
Napoli, who finished four points behind Juve last season and qualified for the Champions League group stage, appointed the much-travelled Ancelotti, 59, in May to replace Maurizio Sarri.
The Italian returns to Serie A after nine mostly successful years abroad where he won league titles in England with Chelsea, France with Paris Saint-Germain and Germany with Bayern Munich — as well as a Champions League title with Real Madrid.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.