Chelsea star Ramires wanted by Barcelona

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Barcelona have shortlisted three midfielders as potential transfer targets, including Chelsea's Ramires, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The Spanish newspaper claims that Barca coach Gerardo Martino is also keen on Atletico Madrid youngster Koke and Juventus star Arturo Vidal.

Although Barcelona are not currently lacking in first-choice midfield options - with Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas all competing for places - Mundo Deportivo suggest that Martino is keen to avoid another 'Victor Valdes scenario'.

Everyone at the Camp Nou expected goalkeeper Valdes to renew his contract, only for the Spain international to unexpectedly announce his desire to leave the club, leaving Barcelona forced to act swiftly in a bid to recruit a suitable long-term replacement for the start of the 2014/15 campaign.

Ramires, who joined Chelsea from Benfica in 2010, is an indefatigable midfielder who scored a wonderful goal against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals at the Camp Nou in May 2012.

The Brazil international has also been linked with a move to Real Madrid recently - but, although admitting he was flattered by the reports, insisted he was happy at Stamford Bridge.

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