Chelsea midfielder Ramires is reportedly close to a £25 million move to Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suing, according to BBC Sport.
The Brazilian has struggled for game time since the arrival of interim manager Guus Hiddink in late December, but the Dutch boss would be giving up a highly useful player if he allows Ramires to leave Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window.
Few players in world football can match the midfielder for his athleticism and determination. The 28-year-old has proved throughout his career that he is willing to charge up and down the pitch, regardless of whether the Blues are winning or losing, or playing against Barcelona or a League One side.
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Players of Ramires’ energy and commitment are difficult to come by in modern football, and with the Chelsea midfield often coming under fire for a perceived lack of effort, now is not the time to part ways with a genuine workhorse.
The Brazil international, signed from Benfica for £19 million in 2010, is the only Blues midfielder capable of making an impact in both attack and defence.
Despite his shaky form of late, Nemanja Matic is arguably the best anchor man at the west London club, followed by John Obi Mikel.
The Serbian and Nigerian are both remarkably effective at breaking up play and protecting the back four, but neither has the skill nor awareness to cause significant damage going forward.
Conversely, Cesc Fabregas is one of the most creative midfielders in world football with his vision and passing range. However, when deployed in a holding role, his defensive qualities leave a lot to be desired.
Without portraying him as being on par with the likes of Yaya Toure or Paul Pogba, Ramires can provide a meaningful contribution at both ends of the pitch unlike any of his Chelsea colleagues.
The Brazilian rarely finds the net and is by no means a regular source of assists, but his pace, work-rate and tenacious challenges make up for his lack of eye-catching statistics.
CHELSEA SHOULD RECRUIT, NOT BOOT, IN JANUARY
Although the Blues could be forgiven for cutting ties with a host of underperforming stars this winter, it would be smarter to introduce fresh faces instead.
With the financial backing of Roman Abramovich, Chelsea are still capable of attracting adequate reinforcements despite their undesirable position in the league table.
It's easy to forget the majority of this squad lifted the Premier League title last season without breaking a sweat, and with the players somewhat gathering themselves after a tumultuous first half of the campaign, Hiddink will likely be reluctant to overhaul a balanced squad with undoubted potential.
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