Ramires to swap Chelsea for China’s Jiangsu Suning

Brazilian yet to start under Hiddink and will head to Super League in deal worth €26.3m

The Chelsea midfielder Ramires is attracting strong interest from the Chinese club Jiangsu Suning and is expected to cut short his stay in the Premier League and become the latest Brazilian import to the money-flushed Super League.

Ramires, an £18m (€23.6m)signing from Benfica back in 2010, has not started a Premier League match for the London club under the interim stewardship of Guus Hiddink and was not even included among the substitutes for the recent draw with Everton and Sunday's eye-catching win at Arsenal. The 28-year-old midfielder only signed a new four-year contract at Stamford Bridge in October but, having slipped down the pecking order, may now be permitted to depart with Chelsea even likely to make a slight profit on his sale.

Jiangu Suning are coached by the former Chelsea player, Dan Petrescu, and would be willing to pay around £20m (€26.3m)for the Brazil international's services. Their squad are currently on a training camp in Málaga, and Ramires could potentially link up with his new team-mates in Spain prior to their departure back to China if a deal is thrashed out. The midfielder, capped 52 times by his country, has started only seven league games this season, the last of which was the 2-1 defeat at Leicester last month which prompted José Mourinho's dismissal as manager.

His departure, to join the likes of Paulinho and Luiz Felipe Scolari in China, would potentially offer Ruben Loftus-Cheek a more regular route into the first-team, speeding the young Englishman's development, and would appear to confirm the key role John Mikel Obi will enjoy under Hiddink. The Nigerian, such a bit-part player under previous Chelsea managers, has offered the team balance in defensive midfield of late and liberated the likes of Cesc Fábregas and Oscar to make their mark around him.


Chelsea expect other departures before the closure of the transfer window on February 1st, with Christian Atsu set to join Levante on loan for the remainder of the campaign and Bertrand Traoré likely to follow him out of the club on a temporary deal. The Bundesliga club Hamburg have joined Marseille in enquiring for his services. There remains the possibility Radamel Falcao's own loan agreement from Monaco could be terminated six months early, while some doubt still remains over the immediate future of Loïc Rémy.

Alexandre Pato, whose representatives have been regular contact with Chelsea over the last few weeks, could join initially on loan from the Brazilian club Corinthians with a view to a permanent move if he makes a positive impact back in European football. The 26-year-old forward scored 63 goals for Milan over a six-year spell in San Siro before returning home three years ago. He has spent the last two seasons on loan at Sao Paulo.

(Guardian service)