Jan 10, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT
Fulham have confirmed Bryan Ruiz will be allowed to leave this month, with La Liga outfit Real Betis the likely loan recipient of the Costa Rican’s services.
Cottagers manager Rene Meulensteen announced Ruiz’ likely departure on Friday.
“The only progress in the transfer market that I can reveal to you is that we have allowed Bryan Ruiz to talk to a number of clubs to see if something can come out of that.”
Fulham signed the Costa Rican forward in the fall of 2011 from FC Twente for a fee of around £10.6m.
In his first year at the Cottage, Ruiz appeared in 27 league matches registering two goals and three assists. The following year he firmed up a starting spot with Fulham and appeared in 29 matches scoring five goals and chipping in seven assists. This season Ruiz has scored once and added three assists in 12 matches.
His failure to grow into a more dominant Premier League player has many asking if Ruiz was a bust. “I wouldn’t call his signing a mistake because at that time it was probably for Fulham the right choice and the right investment,” Meulensteen said.
In the Dutch manager’s eyes, however, Ruiz’ form doesn’t warrant consistent playing time. “He is a good player, has a World Cup coming up and he obviously needs to play, but I can’t, like with any other player, guarantee that.”
Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven and Belgian champions Anderlecht have noted their interest in Ruiz but it appears that for now, Betis are poised to take him on loan.
“Bryan Ruiz is a fantastic player, links up well with team-mates, has a good shot and brings lots of creativity,” assistant coach Sergio Fernandez told Diario de Sevilla. “We are confident that his game and his qualities are perfect for our team and that he can put Betis on the right place in the ranking. I think he can settle in quickly.”
Betis’ loan offer to Fulham is believed to be in the range of £750,000. The Seville-based team currently sit bottom of the Spanish league.
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