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Napoli sign Ruiz from Espanyol

SSC Napoli have strengthened their defence with the signing of 22-year-old centre-back Víctor Ruiz from RCD Espanyol, with Jesús Dátolo moving permanently in the opposite direction.

Víctor Ruiz (left) has left Espanyol for Napoli
Víctor Ruiz (left) has left Espanyol for Napoli ©Getty Images

Spanish Under-21 international centre-back Víctor Ruiz has left RCD Espanyol for SSC Napoli, signing a four-and-a-half-year contract with the team sitting second in Serie A.

Napoli have acquired the services of the Espanyol academy graduate in exchange for a €6m fee and midfielder Jesús Dátolo, whose earlier loan move to the Barcelona club now becomes permanent.

"I am young and I want to be successful – that's why my role model is Gerard Piqué," said Ruiz. "Several clubs tried to sign me but Napoli were my first choice. The team are great and the fans are fantastic. I am ready to play as soon as the coach picks me." The 22-year-old made a total of 36 Liga appearances for Espanyol.

As a result of his departure for Naples, Espanyol have landed Argentinian international winger Dátolo on a full-time basis. The 26-year-old, who arrived on loan last summer, has featured in ten of Espanyol's league matches this term.

The Partenopei have also added Giuseppe Mascara to their ranks, taking the 31-year-old forward from Cagliari Calcio for an undisclosed fee. Mascara, capped once by Italy, has signed a contract until 2013.

Napoli finished runners-up in UEFA Europa League Group K and will play Villarreal CF in the round of 32, with the first leg in Naples on 17 February and the El Madrigal return the following Thursday.