Valencia confirmed the signing of Spanish Under-21 centre-back Victor Ruiz and right-back Antonio Barragan today, as they continue to strengthen ahead of the new season.
The 22-year-old joins from Italians Napoli on a five-year contract, ending an unsuccessful six-month spell on the peninsula that saw him gain just four first-team appearances for the Azzurri.
Before his €6m move to Naples, the Catalan-born Ruiz burst on to the scene in 18 months at Espanyol as an intelligent and technically-proficient centre-back and has been capped five times at Under-21 level. Napoli are understood to have made as much as a €2m profit in selling the youngster back to the Spanish League.
Ruiz arrives as the second centre-back of the summer after Adil Rami, and as AS
However, but for Roberto Soldado’s hat-trick at the weekend, the team’s first home game of 2011-12 would have been characterised for the vulnerable state visitors Racing Santander left it looking in, as they managed to score three times in Valencia’s 4-3 win.
Ruiz’ arrival has also been quickly followed by that of Valladolid’s Antonio Barragan for a €1.5m fee. Also on a five-year contract, Barragan is a 24-year-old right-back that Valencia’s technical director Braulio Vazquez has talked up this week as being more than capable of making the jump in level to the Champions League side.