Barcelona identify €22m Chelsea dynamo as transfer target - report

Barcelona are said to be interested in the services of Chelsea midfielder Ramires.

In terms of transfer activity Barcelona are perhaps one team that get away with not having to spend vast sums of money. With the plethora of top talent that comes through the youth system from La Masia it is easy to understand why.

But next summer they already have plans to sign a goalkeeper, as Victor Valdes will be leaving the club on a Bosman - with AS Monaco the apparent destination.

But the manager Tata Martino also wants to bring in a midfielder for the team, to shore up the midfield trio currently playing and provide support for the eventuality of injuries to the ageing Xavi.

And according to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo there is currently a three man shortlist for the position.

Two names will not come as a surprise. In the past Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke and Juventus maestro Arturo Vidal have been linked with a move to Catalonia. But the third name will come as a surprise and a worry to Chelsea fans.

Brazilian midfielder Ramires has also been linked with a switch to Spain next summer.

The dynamic midfielder is capable of playing in several positions across the midfield - and has the technical efficiency to play for Barcelona.

He cost The Blues €22 million from Benfica in August 2010 and has since gone on to become a regular in the Chelsea team - even securing his place in the Brazil squad recently ahead of a home World Cup next summer.

Barcelona are preparing for the potential eventuality of Alex Song leaving - and Ramires is considered the perfect option as he can play in the ‘pivot’ and also be effective further up field.

Recently Ramires spoke to Brazilian media about his future, and certainly didn’t seem like a man ready to exit Stamford Bridge - although on this occasion it was Real Madrid who were presented as the interested party:

“I'm under contract with Chelsea and it would be unethical for me to comment. For the moment, these are only rumours. I am very happy here. I am respected and part of the club's history. If I leave, Chelsea would have to make the decision. Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world. I have realised my dream here.”

But the lure of Barca often proves too strong - even for the most loyal of players.

And certainly Ramires would like to repeat his previous actions at the Nou Camp…

image: © Will Palmer

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