Ramires: Ex-Arsenal duo key to Chelsea move

Brazil midfielder Ramires has revealed that he asked for the advice of two former Arsenal players before deciding on a move to Premier League champions Chelsea.

The Samba Boy is believed to be on the brink of completing an £18.3 million move from Benfica.

And he has credited compatriots - and ex-Emirates Stadium duo - Gilberto Silva and Julio Baptista for convincing him to join the Blues from the Portuguese champions.

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Silva made 170 league appearances for Arsene Wenger's side from 2002-08, while Baptista spent the 2006/07 campaign on loan with the Gunners as part of the deal that took Jose Reyes to Real Madrid.

Baptista scored 10 league goals for Arsenal, as well as bagging four goals in one League Cup game against Liverpool at Anfield that ended 6-3.

Ramires, 23, admitted he had trouble deciding whether to join Carlo Ancelotti's side, but that former Gunners Silva and Baptista convinced him that a transfer to England would benefit him.

“Gilberto, Julio Baptista and others gave me confidence by insisting I must accept this chance,” he said in The Sun.

"In the end, the Chelsea proposition was impossible to reject - not just because of the money but the chance to spend every day at one of the best clubs in the world.

"As a boy in Brazil I watched the Premier League and I remember how Chelsea and Manchester United played such attractive football.

"This summer has been a dream - the Portuguese title with Benfica, the call of Brazil, the World Cup and now the jump into the Premier League."

By Saad Noor

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