Transfer news – Chelsea launch £20m bid for Brazilian Ramires
6/1 Champions League contenders Chelsea have reportedly made a £20m bid for Brazil’s World Cup midfielder Ramires.
Currently at Benfica, the 23-year-old is a transfer target for a clutch of big European sides, and Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are among the keenest suitors.
With Michael Ballack, Deco and Joe Cole all having departed this summer, there is a considerable void in the Chelsea midfield, and Ramires is seen as a strong candidate to plug this gap.
Chelsea are 13/8 favourites to retain their Premier League title this season, and it is in midfield where they have excelled in recent years.
Ramires can play as an attacking, holding or wide midfielder, and his pace and creativity would nicely complement the combative qualities of Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel at Stamford Bridge.
Nicknamed the ‘Blue Kenyan’ for the stamina of a Kenyan marathon runner he showed during his time with the blue-shirted Brazilian side Cruzeiro, Ramires’s energy could also relieve the 32-year-old Frank Lampard of his dirty work in Chelsea’s midfield.
Another Chelsea target, Fernando Torres, has been in talks with Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow, but the Spanish striker has yet to decide on his future.
Torres is 4/1 not to be a Liverpool player on the first day of the season, and he has been rumoured to be attracting strong interest from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole, meanwhile, has been linked with a move away from the west London club but rumours of a move to Real Madrid have subsided for the moment, and the England players is a convincing 1/5 to be at Chelsea come the first day of the season.
How will Chelsea do this season? They are 6/1 to win the Champions League. See the full UEFA Champions League market.