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Agent: Ramirez move to Saints is off

Gaston Ramirez will not be joining Premier League newcomers Southampton from Bologna, his agent has said.

On Friday, Ramirez, 28, told Gazzetta dello Sport that he was ready to move to the South Coast in what would have been a major coup for the Saints.

Uruguay international Ramirez, who was part of his country's Olympic squad, told the paper: "They believe in me in every way... and above all I have said that they are going to grow.

"Southampton is a newly promoted team in the English top flight, but they have the means to stand tall in a few years. And with me they are going to build. It's all very stimulating. Even if it is a little strange."

But his agent, Oscar Betancourt, said talks with the Saints had broken down and poured cold water on speculation that Ramirez could instead head to Liverpool or Tottenham.

Southampton had been reported to be ready to pay £11.8 million but the deal has hit snags, with Bologna's financial problems a stumbling block. They were reported to have delayed matters as they tried to secure a loan against the Saints' payments for the transfer.

"The negotiations with Southampton have ended," Betancourt told "I have spoken with the English club's chairman, and they are looking at another target.

"Bologna didn't want to close the deal without the bank guarantees. The player was very happy with the offer received, but now he will probably remain at Bologna.

"Tottenham is an option to be rejected at this time because they are a long way short of Bologna's demands. Liverpool? They have never presented a concrete offer."

Ramirez's remarks about a move to Southampton had drawn an angry response from his club chairman, Albano Guaraldi, who said: "Ramirez is contracted to Bologna - and the club will decide upon his future, not the player himself.

"Ramirez's behaviour is totally unacceptable, giving open interviews like that without consulting us. Gaston cannot force my hand with two interviews. I am a serious person and I've already said it will take €20m to sell him. And I also told his agent."


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