Barcelona and Real Madrid could end up going head to head this summer over 22-year-old Real Betis midfielder Fabian Ruiz, a potential transfer that has already been likened to that of Dani Ceballos following his move from Betis to Real last summer.
Rumours of Barcelona's interest in the player emerged earlier this week. It comes as doubts surfaced over whether the club will actually go through with their €30m deal to sign Gremio starlet and Copa Libertadores winner Arthur.
It has been suggested that Barça are having second thoughts over the Brazilian, despite having already paid €4m to secure the deal. It will soon be time to pay the remaining €26m of the up-front costs, but his small physical stature has apparently become cause for concern.
Fabian is much taller at 6ft 2in and has a buyout clause of just €15m. What's more, the Spain Under-21 international is already proven in La Liga after starting 26 games for a good Betis side on course to qualify for the Europa League.
The potential problem for Barça is that Mundo Deportivo's latest report on Fabian suggests that Real, as well as Juventus and Roma, are also keeping a close eye on him.
It is said that he is seen as a player capable of covering for Toni Kroos and Luka Modric during the course of a long season. Los Blancos also hold a possible bargaining chip in the shape of Ceballos, who could be allowed to return to his former club after failing to impress in the capital.