Chelsea midfielder Ramires closing on move to China - sources

Ramires is nearing a January exit from Chelsea with Chinese Super League clubs Jiangsu Suning and Shanghai Shenhua leading the race for his signature, sources have told ESPN.

The Brazil international signed a new four-year contract at Stamford Bridge in October but has become disillusioned with a lack of first-team opportunities under interim manager Guus Hiddink, and was not named in Chelsea's matchday squad for Sunday's 1-0 win over Arsenal.

Despite interest from several European clubs, ESPN Brazil has reported that Ramires is more tempted by the offers from China and a move worth a reported £25 million is expected to be finalised by the end of the week.

Jiangsu, coached by former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu, are in the market for an international star and still have the squad space and budget for an overseas signing after a deal to sign AC Milan striker Luiz Adriano fell through earlier this month.

Shanghai acquired Chelsea legend Didier Drogba when the Ivorian left Stamford Bridge for the first time in the summer of 2012.

Sources told ESPN that the Chinese Super League giants also agreed an £8m deal for out-of-favour Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote earlier in this window, only for talks to collapse over wage demands.