July 23rd, 2010
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is preparing to land a significant blow in his transfer battle with Manchester City.
Not satisfied with winning the race to sign Benfica midfielder Ramires in a £20million deal, Abramovich has sanctioned a second raid on the Portuguese club for their £27m-rated defender David Luiz.
The double swoop signals a return to Chelsea’s big-spending days that coincided with the Russian’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, and manager Carlo Ancelotti has set about reinforcing his double-winning squad with the best of Brazil’s young talent.
The extravagant transfer moves are also sure to deliver a bloody nose to Manchester City, who have also been closely tracking Ramires and Luiz.
Up to now, Sheik Mansour’s billions have seen City press on unopposed during the summer transfer window, with Roberto Mancini having already splashed out more than £80m on players.
Making changes: Carlo Ancelotti wants to strengthen his title-winning side
But while City are likely to be challenging for honours this season following a major overhaul, it seems Chelsea’s recent history of success has proved decisive in convincing 23-year-old Ramires that his future lies at Stamford Bridge.
Sportsmail exclusively revealed the details of Chelsea’s £20m move for Ramires on Thursday.
And barring any last-minute hitches, his transfer will be finalised at the end of next week, after a holiday in his native Brazil following his exploits in the World Cup.
Ancelotti will doubtless be delighted to have got his man having searched for a central midfielder to replace Michael Ballack following his return to Bayer Leverkusen, while Deco is expected to join Brazilian side Fluminense.
Luiz, 23, is seen as a future star for Brazil having represented his country at Under 20 level. And he his already proved his class with Benfica, having been an ever-present last season as the Lisbon side won their first domestic title for five years.
Chelsea have firmed up their interest after losing Luiz’s countryman Alex to a torn thigh muscle which will rule him out for a month. In addition, if Chelsea are successful in pulling off a deal for Ruiz, who like Ramires has attracted the interest of top clubs across Europe, then it may signal the end of Ricardo Carvalho’s stay at Stamford Bridge.
Under threat: Ricardo Carvalho's Stamford Bridge days are numbered
Carvalho’s former manager, Jose Mourinho, is understood to be keen for a reunion at Real Madrid. However, Rafa Benitez is eager to have the benefit of Carvalho’s experience at Inter Milan as he tries to emulate Mourinho’s treble winning exploits at the San Siro.
There could be a decidedly samba rhythm to Chelsea’s play next season if they are also successful with a £17m move for Santos’s 18-year-old striker Neymar.
Source: Daily mail
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