• Premier League

Pochettino: Ramirez key for Saints

ESPN staff
June 29, 2013
Gaston Ramirez is Southampton's record signing © PA Photos

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed Gaston Ramirez is a key part of his plans for next season and expects the midfielder to turn down offers to leave Southampton.

Ramirez, 22, moved to the Premier League from Bologna last season to become the Saints' record signing, costing the club more than £12 million.

Although the Uruguay international had difficulty adjusting to English football in his debut season, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid have shown interest in luring him away from Southampton.

But manager Pochettino denies the club will let go of Ramirez.

"He's happy with us and we are counting on him for next season," Pochettino told tuttomercatoweb.com "It's normal that a lot of clubs are interested in his quality, but we don't listen to transfer rumours. We are planning for next season with him on board."

Southampton have been linked with Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo, who is expected to leave Italy in the summer, although Pochettino denies an offer has been made for the Italy international.

"Osvaldo is a great player," Pochettino added. "I worked with him at Espanyol so I know what he can do. We are aware of his situation at Roma, but we haven't made an offer.

"We have a clear idea of what our targets should be but the market is moving very slowly at the moment. We are working prudently to reinforce the squad."

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