sport

Ramirez lured by Saints' desire

Gaston Ramirez insists Southampton's eagerness to sign him was the primary factor in his decision to move to St Mary's this summer.

Uruguayan star Ramirez joined the Saints in a club-record deal from Italian side Bologna over the summer, but he only made his first start at the weekend - inspiring them to a 4-1 win over Aston Villa.

The Fray Bentos-born winger is now more than happy with his decision to have moved to St Mary's.

"The only concrete, real and direct offer was the Southampton one," he told Tuttomercatoweb. "They wanted me strongly and this convinced me to accept.

"I wanted to play in England, a league that I always liked. Here I have had an interesting opportunity, Southampton believe in me.

"We are a young team, we want to do well and we have the potential to do it: we are experiencing slowly, we need time but I am confident."

Ramirez says he is quickly settling into life in England.

"My life in England? I don't speak the language yet, so I do have a little problem but I have team-mates who speak Spanish or Italian like Do Prado, so I am well integrated in the group."

He says he has no regrets about the way in which he left former club Bologna.

"I was fine in Bologna: people cuddled me and I thank them so much: I gave all my best for Rossoblu side and I carry their fans in my heart," he said.

"But there are situations that you don't know. [Bologna President Albano] Guaraldi called me 'unfair', but the truth is that he lied to me twice.

"He never talked to my face, he did nothing to make me stay. He didn't keep his promises."