Manchester City

Who’s This £30million Midfield Maestro Then?

With a prospective deal for James Milner apparently stalling, Man City are showing acute interest in Brazilian midfielder Ramires.

Valued at £30million – if we acknowledge his buy-out clause, that is – Ramires is certainly highly-rated, but let’s excavate the surface, get our hands dirty, our knees sore (and so forth), and delve a little deeper to find out who the hell this kid really is…

Born in Barra do Piraí (Rio de Janeiro), Ramires Santos do Nascimento (we’ll stick to the shortened version if you don’t mind), began his career in his homeland with Joinville; eventually breaking into the first-team during the 2006/07 season. After a handful of appearances, he soon attracted watchful eyes and duly moved to Cruzeiro the following year. Whilst at Cruzerio he ‘earned’ the affectionate nickname the ‘Blue Kenyan’ (‘Queniano Azul’) owing to the clubs colours and the player’s famed stamina.

In 2009, Ramires left Brazil for Portugal; Benfica signing him for around €7.5million (with that minimum fee release clause incorporated into his contract).

His time at Benfica has proved particularly prosperous. He quickly established himself as a vital and dynamic midfield force – attracting admiration from the Estádio da Luz faithful – and aided the side to a league and cup double.

As mentioned, Ramires possesses great endurance and can be firmly (and, indeed, lazily) thrust into the ‘box-to-box midfielder’ bracket. Capable of holding and dealing with the defensive bustle, he is also very versatile and comfortable driving forward. Not remarkably productive as a goal scorer, he is more of a provider and keeps things ticking over; the ‘all-action’ midfielder, if you will (and you will). Thus, his role in the more pragmatic Brazil side of recent years epitomises his style and value; attaining 16 caps thus far.

Still only 23-years-old, he clearly has the potential to blossom further. Hence, he’s highly coveted and has also been linked with Chelsea and Real Madrid. It now appears City are emerging as favourites to sign the energetic little rogue and add another starlet to the increasing assortment of shrewd summer signings.

Mancini is reportedly looking to forge a deal in the region of £22million, but would he fit in at City?

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