Chelsea midfielder Ramires claims new manager Jose Mourinho has told him he will be a key player for the squad this season. The Brazilian international said he spoke to the former Real Madrid boss and was asked to stay on at Stamford Bridge.
Ramires' comments come after speculation from Tutto Mercato, linking the 26-year-old to last season's Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez, who is now with Serie A club Napoli. The all-action central midfielder was a surprise exclusion from Luiz Felipe Scolari's squad for the ongoing 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
"Mourinho told me he was very happy to have me at Chelsea. I was very glad to hear that and told him he can count on me. I'm hugely excited about getting down to work with Mourinho. He called me a few days ago, out of the blue, which was a surprise to me," Ramires told the Metro.
The Portuguese manager starts his second spell in charge of the Blues with a Premier League fixture against the newly promoted Hull City and faces a return to familiar ground the following weekend, when the west London side visit David Moyes' Old Trafford.
The former Inter Milan manager is believed to be a long time admirer of Ramires and the player also claimed he was contacted over possible moves to the Giuseppe Meazza and Santiago Bernabeu, while those clubs were under Mourinho's charge.
"We talked a lot and he said a lot of nice things to me, including the fact that he tried to sign me from Benfica when he was at both Inter Milan and Real Madrid. I said, 'I'll do everything in my power to help you be victorious in this new spell at the club,'" Ramires explained.
"He spoke of his excitement too and knowing how much he wanted to work with me, made me even more motivated for next year. I have a feeling that it will be a very good season for us."
Ramires has been an integral part of Chelsea's midfield since his signing in 2010, helping the side to the Champions League last year and the Europa League this year. He made 28 Premier League starts last season, scoring five times.