Ramires's protracted transfer saga is over, the midfielder being cleared to move to Chelsea from Portuguese side Benfica after a tribunal granted him a work permit to play in England. The 23-year old is expected to arrive in London shortly, but not in time to be integrated with the squad for Chelsea's Premier League opener against West Bromwich Albion. Benfica agreed to part with Ramires for £18.2M, and the midfielder is set to sign a four-year deal with the club, keeping him at Stamford Bridge until age 27.
Ramires, whom I profiled last weekend, featured in Brazil's international friendly against the United States on Tuesday, and while he was quietly effective in the midfield destroyer role and set up Alexandre Pato's goal to make the score 2-0, he looked clumsy at times and misplayed a few passes. He's known for his ability to do more or less everything, and I'd imagine that his moments of sloppiness in the match at New Meadowlands were just rust from the long offseason. Ramires is a world-class talent and a pleasure to welcome to the club. With Jon Obi Mikel's questionable form, he may well push the Nigerian out of the first team entirely. The competition certainly can't hurt the development of either player, and Chelsea now have an excellent backup plan in place at holding midfielder.
Welcome to the Blues!