Chelsea midfielder Ramires is ignoring speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid in order to reunite with former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti, but the rumours continue to grow.
The Brazilian midfielder, 26, moved to Stamford Bridge from Benfica over three years ago for a fee in the region of £18m, after Ancelotti was impressed by his displays at the 2010 World Cup. He marked his first and only season under the former Milan boss with 41 appearances in all competitions and bagged two goals, but his development over the last few years has served to prove Ancelotti right for buying him.
Now it seems the Italian manager may be interested in working with Ramires again, with Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso nursing an injury and possibly heading for the exit door with his contract expiring in 2014.
Luka Modric, Asier Illarramendi, want-away Sami Khedira and youngster Casemiro are currently the only available recognised central midfield players on the books for Madrid at the moment, and Ancelotti has been widely tipped to add another midfield player in the January transfer window.
However, Ramires has so far denied the rumours of him moving to the Santiago Bernabeu, and insisted that his focus remains with Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side – though outside of the transfer window, there is little that Madrid can do.
"Nothing has come to me, I have just heard about this through the press," Ramires said.
"My agent hasn't told me anything either. Maybe it is just speculation. I am focused on my work, one can't talk about something that he knows nothing about."
Whilst it rarely happens in the transfer market, there could be the potential for a swap deal here. If Chelsea are willing to part with Ramires, Madrid have two of Mourinho's former midfielders that they are prepared to let leave in Alonso and Khedira.
Both are highly rated by Mourinho – and both enjoyed playing under him – and with Khedria reportedly angling for a move to London in January and Alonso's contract drawing to a close, Ancelotti may be willing to send one of them in exchange for Ramires in the New Year.
An energetic, box to box midfielder, Ramires has been a prominent figure in the Chelsea side so far this season, including a two-goal performance against Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League, but should Mourinho be able to acquire either Khedira or Alonso in exchange for the Brazilian, he may find himself out of the door.
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