When Brazilian midfielder Ramires opted to leave Chelsea for a crack at the Chinese Super League with Jiangsu Suning in January 2016, European football observers could have been forgiven for thinking he had given up all hope of playing at the game’s top level again. However, if recent reports in the Italian press are to be believed, this could not be further from the truth.
Since the 30-year-old’s move to the Far East, Jiangsu ownership group Suning have bought a majority stake in Serie A heavyweights Inter.
The excellent relationship between the two clubs enabled Australian centre-back Trent Sainsbury to join the Nerazzurri on loan during the second half of last season, in order to free up space in their foreign player quota. Reports suggest a similar deal could be struck this January for the Rio de Janeiro native, only this time a considerably higher calibre of player would be adding some much-needed depth to Luciano Spalletti’s squad.
Due to Financial Fair Play restrictions, Suning have so far been unable to invest significantly in buying world class players for the Milanese giants, though they have sought to modernise and improve the infrastructure in and around the club’s Appiano Gentile training facilities in the meantime.
With only five recognised central midfielders in the first team picture at the moment, there is little doubt Spalletti could use another quality addition in that department. Marcelo Brozović and João Mário’s performances of late have been inconsistent to say the least, so signing a player with Ramires’ proven track record would be very shrewd business by La Beneamata’s hierarchy.
Tactically, he is very adaptable and would be able to provide cover in several positions within Spalletti’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. During his time with Benfica and Chelsea, he showcased his excellent positional sense by sitting just in front of the defence, while he is also dynamic enough to make runs forward and chip in with a few goals too.
In many ways, he is a very similar type of player to Radja Nainggolan, who became a truly world class talent under the watchful eye of the Tuscan coach. Ramires could easily interchange with Borja Valero, who is also equally as comfortable in a more advanced position as he is in the regista role.
A deal to bring the former Champions League winner to Milan would make perfect sense for all parties; Inter sign a proven winner at a cost-effective rate, Ramires tests himself in one of Europe’s most competitive leagues leading up to next summer’s World Cup in Russia, and Jiangsu can make another statement in the transfer market with the freedom of being able to sign a big name from Europe or South America.
It is quite simply too good an opportunity to turn down – both Walter Sabatini and Piero Ausilio would be loathed to do so in their efforts to restore Inter to their former glory.
Written by Jordan Russell
Follow Jordan on Twitter @JordRuss96
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