The 23-year-old Spanish international has become one of Lazio’s stars and has been linked with a move to a superclub next summer.
Ruiz had already agreed to join Real Madrid as Zinedine Zidane is keen on him, according to the report. Nothing was formalized, so Madrid could have changed their minds, but there was talk of an agreement already in place. It seems they were particularly interested if Manchester United’s Paul Pogba became too expensive, although the emergence of Federico Valverde could affect the move.
However, Ruiz is reportedly considering breaking that agreement to join FC Barcelona because of the appointment of Quique Setién. The manager was his boss when Ruiz made a breakthrough at Real Betis. Ruiz reportedly is thankful to Setién for helping him reach new heights, and would be willing to join Barça if it means reuniting.
The report also tells of a time when Barcelona came calling for Ruiz before he was a star, but Setién turned the move down because he thought Ruiz was too promising to sell before he had reached a higher level.