Chelsea could be set to lose one of their most-prized assets, with reports suggesting that Real Madrid are planning to launch a sizeable January swoop for midfielder Ramires.
26-year-old Ramires is a pivotal member of Jose Mourinho's first-team squad, with the Brazil international having impressed with his energetic and tenacious performances since arriving at Stamford Bridge from Primiera Liga outfit Benfica during the summer of 2010.
Ramires' commendable and highly-assured displays in the heart of the Blues' midfield have evidently not gone unnoticed across the continent, with La Liga giants Real - now under the management of former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti - having been strongly linked with a move for the former Cruzeiro man.
But while such reports were initially cooled somewhat by the player himself last month, however, it appears that the Spanish side remain undeterred in their pursuit of Ramires.
According to the Daily Express, Real are set to considerably test Chelsea's resolve with a bid of approximately £20 million for the Brazilian when the transfer market re-opens for business in January.
The same source further understands that such a bid may not end there and could also include a potential player swap in order to sweeten the deal.
Which players that refers to exactly is unclear, although given that losing Ramires would represent a substantial blow to Chelsea's midfield, it could be wise to presume that they would aim to receive players who are able to plug that particular gap.