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Pochettino plays down Ramirez exit talk

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has played down speculation linking Gaston Ramirez with a move to Fiorentina and AC Milan.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has played down speculation linking Gaston Ramirez with a move to Fiorentina and AC Milan.

The club-record 12-million pound off-season signing from Bologna has netted three times in 15 English Premier League appearances this season, impressing with his pace and skill.

Ramirez’s good form has led to reports linking him with a return to Italy, but Pochettino is not alarmed at reports of a possible exit, instead choosing to praise the Uruguayan’s qualities.

“Fiorentina and AC Milan interested in Ramirez? It’s normal because Gaston is a young and strong player who is proving at Southampton he can rise to the occasion,” he told tuttomercatoweb.com.

Pochettino said he was interested in signing Philippe Coutinho from Inter Milan in January after previously managing the Brazilian at former club Espanyol, only for Liverpool to win the race for his signature.

“I often spoken with him in the last weeks of January. I had him last year at Espanyol, I know him well, but eventually he went to Liverpool,” he said.

But while he was unwilling to discuss the possibility of Ramirez returning to Serie A, Pochettino said he was interested in managing in Italy one day.

“Me on a Serie A bench? I like Italian football. I also have relatives in Italy. In the future, why not?” he said.

Sat 16 February, 2013
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