Newcastle target Fabian Ruiz could reportedly be Barcelona's Iniesta successor

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town at St. James Park on March 31, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...

Newcastle United have allegedly been tracking Real Betis ace Fabian Ruiz.

Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) final football match Sevilla FC against FC Barcelona at the Wanda...

Andres Iniesta bid an emotional farewell to Barcelona on Friday afternoon when the 34-year-old announced the worst kept secret in football – that his next few games in the famous blue and red will be his last.

Barcelona face an almost impossible task replacing one of the most gifted footballers of his generation.

But, according to Catalan publication Mundo Deportivo, the La Liga leaders hope that Real Betis’s Fabian Ruiz could be the man capable of succeeding their legendary number eight on the left side of midfield.

Real Betis' Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match between Sevilla and Real Betis at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla...

The 22-year-old Ruiz has been one of La Liga’s breakout talents in 2017/18, producing a number of masterful performances for Quique Setien’s Europa League-chasing team.

The report states that Barca have been tracking the Spain U21 star for some time and are now ready to bring him to the Camp Nou by triggering the £26 million release clause in his contract.

So any hopes Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez might have harboured of bringing his gifted compatriot to St James’ Park look over.

Andre Gomes of FC Barcelona  (R) being followed by Fabian Ruiz of Real Betis Balompie (L) during the La Liga match between Real Betis and Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on January...

The Sun (26 January, page 59) reported that Newcastle had joined Everton, Tottenham and West Ham in checking out the composed and classy Ruiz, when his release clause was just £13 million. He has since signed a new deal until 2023.

Moving to the Premier League may have been a good move for the youngster, especially to a Newcastle side run by Benitez and containing his Spain youth teammate Mikel Merino.

But the opportunity to replace Iniesta at Barcelona is a simply glorious opportunity that he should not turn down.

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