Chelsea to snap up Benfica midfielder Ramires in £20m swoop?

According to ESPN Soccernet, highly-rated Benfica midfielder Ramires has snubbed Manchester City and other suitors and will sign for Chelsea next week in a £20m deal.

As per their sources, the 23-year-old is already headed to Stamford Bridge, and the finishing i’s and t’s are expected to be dotted and crossed in the next few days.

Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City are among the clubs who have been linked with the Brazil international, and Benfica’s president has met with representatives from City and Chelsea, but according to the source, Ramires has opted for London instead of Manchester. “He has opted to go to Chelsea, and the deal can be done in the next couple of days, certainly by next week.”

Ramires joined Benfica from Cruzeiro last year, and he was an integral part of the side that won the club’s first league title since 2005 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Europa League. At the World Cup, Ramires played in four matches for Brazil and started their round of 16 win over Chile, but a yellow card in that match ruled him out for Brazil’s quarterfinal defeat to the Netherlands.

If Ramires does sign for Chelsea, he’ll become the club’s third signing of the month and of the summer. Midfielder Yossi Benayoun arrived from Liverpool in a £5.5m deal earlier this month, and he was followed days later by young Czech defender Tomas Kalas, who came from Sigma Olomouc for £5.2m.

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