Ramires flattered by Real Madrid and Juventus transfer link

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Chelsea midfielder Ramires has fuelled speculation he could quit Stamford Bridge in favour of a move to Real Madrid after admitting he is flattered to be linked with a potential transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Brazil international has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks after falling out of first-team favour under Jose Mourinho this season. There have been suggestions the 27-year-old would consider a new challenge abroad with reigning Serie 'A' champions Juventus also monitoring the situation closely.

Ramires has lost his place in the Blues' starting line-up thanks largely to the fine midfield partnership established by Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic this term, but did return to action for the 5-3 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur on New Year's Day.

That shock result at White Hart Lane will have done little for the South American schemer's prospects moving forward, despite the fact Mourinho has insisted that Ramires remains a valuable part of his squad in west London.

However, the opportunity for regular football in Spain or Italy could prove too tempting for the former Benfica man to turn down, which could bring an end to his four-and-a-half-year spell at Chelsea which began after his arrival from Estadio da Luz in a £17 million deal in August 2010.

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"Juventus and Real Madrid are two of the biggest teams in the world," he was quoted saying by The Express. "I'm flattered that my name has been linked to them, but I know nothing of any negotiations.

"I'm just thinking about Chelsea and doing my job here."

Ramires started his first game for two months in the 3-0 FA Cup third round victory over Championship outfit Watford last weekend after recovering from the thigh injury that has restricted him to just four starts in 2014/15.

2015 prospects

Mourinho has tipped the midfield dynamo to play an important part in Chelsea's challenge for trophies on four different fronts between now and May, which suggests the Portuguese coach would be reluctant to enter into negotiations with any of Ramires' alleged suitors in the mid-season window.

Competition for places at Real Madrid and Juventus will be just as strong should Ramires try and push for a transfer in 2015, so he might be better off staying put at Stamford Bridge anyway and continue to fight for his position in the Chelsea team.

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