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Media Watch: Ramires linked with Rio giants, Slavia Prague in confident mood for return game, Everton youngster hails influence of Kurt Zouma

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, former Chelsea star Ramires looks set to return home to Brazil, Slavia Prague have not given up hope of getting past the Blues in the Europa League quarter-finals and Everton teenager Lewis Gibson explains how training with Kurt Zouma has benefitted him.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Ramires looks set for Brazilian return

After not seeing any first-team action for Chinese side Jiangsu Suning for over a year, former Chelsea favourite Ramires could be on the verge of a return home to play for Brazilian giants Flamengo

The 32-year-old joined Jiangsu from Chelsea in 2016 but played only one first-team game for the Chinese Super League club in 2018 before training with their B team for much of the season.

While he is under contract with Jiangsu until the end of this year, ESPN Brazil has reported that Flamengo are interested in bringing the midfielder back to Rio de Janeiro and are confident they can sign him without needing to pay a fee.

Responding to the rumours, Ramires told Fox Sports Brazil he could soon return to action for Jiangsu after being sidelined by injury but would be interested in discussing a move back to Brazil.

‘My agents will always be open to hearing from teams that are interested in me,’ he said.

‘The representatives of Flamengo have already talked to them a few times to find out about my conditions and if there is still interested in me, they should make contact again.

‘Regarding my current situation, I went through some problems at Jiangsu last year that prevented me from playing, but they have already been dealt with and I am part of the main team again,’ he added.

‘Because of the league’s limits on foreign players, there some games that I can play in and some that I can’t. I did not play recently because of a muscle injury but I have recovered now and I’m looking forward to making my debut this season.’

Slavia not giving up the fight

Slavia Prague flew in to London on Tuesday afternoon still believing that they can advance in the Europa League despite last week’s 1-0 home loss to Chelsea.

Marcos Alonso’s late strike in Prague gave the Blues a slender edge in the quarter-final ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge on Thursday but the Czech side, who overcame five-time winners Sevilla of Span in the last round, have not yet given up hope of reaching the last four this season.

‘Of course, we are thinking about qualification for the next round but we also know how hard it will be,’ said Slavia midfielder Jaromir Zmrhal to the club’s official website.

‘We will try to get the best possible result. We all have seen how good our opponents Chelsea are but we don’t are not going to London to lose.’

Added assistant manager Zdenek Houstecky: ‘We go to England to fight. We fly with hope and we want to qualify.

‘We hope to give our maximum for that. We cannot just give up; we want to show active play and we believe it can work out.

‘With Chelsea we can play an equal part, that’s why we believe we still can surprise them. And we will have Tomas Soucek this time, who is our octopus in midfield.’

Everton youngster hails Zouma’s influence

Everton Under-19 defender Lewis Gibson has told the Liverpool Echo that he has benefitted from being able to train alongside Kurt Zouma at Everton.

The 18-year-old, who helped the Toffees to clinch the Premier League 2 title earlier this week, has had the opportunity to train with the Chelsea loanee during training sessions and explained how the experience has benefitted him.

‘It’s good to have someone that experienced. Even though he’s still young he’s very experienced to have next to you,’ said Gibson of the France international defender.

‘You pick up little things he does or if you have a problem he’ll speak to you and tell you what he thinks. It’s good to get his knowledge on the game.’

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