Belfast Telegraph

Blues close in on Ramires

Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Benfica's Brazil midfielder Ramires.

The Barclays Premier League champions expect to tie up a deal for the 23-year-old before the end of the week. Reports have claimed Chelsea would be willing to pay around £17million for Ramires, who played for Brazil in the World Cup earlier this summer.

Ramires, who is due to undergo a medical at Chelsea in the coming days, would be the second addition to Carlo Ancelotti's squad following the arrival of Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool.

Ancelotti targeted Ramires and Benayoun after releasing midfielders Joe Cole and Michael Ballack earlier in the summer.

Ramires is part-owned by a businessman and Chelsea would have to strike a deal that complies with the Premier League regulations, which outlaw third-party ownership of players.

Benfica president Luis Felipe Vieira said: "Ramires staying at Benfica does not depend solely on us. We have a partner and we must respect the contracts."


From Belfast Telegraph