Southampton aiming to add Gaston Ramirez to capture of Emmanuel Mayuka


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The Independent Football

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins will look to wrap up the signing of Gaston Ramirez after bolstering his strikeforce with the capture of Zambia forward Emmanuel Mayuka last night.

Mayuka signed a five-year deal at St Mary's which is expected to be ratified once the newly-promoted Barclays Premier League side receive international clearance later this week.

Adkins, whose side beat Stevenage 4-1 in the Capital One Cup last night, will now hope to finalise a deal for highly-rated Bologna forward Ramirez.

A number of Europe's top clubs have been linked with the Uruguayan over the summer, but Southampton are understood to be close to completing an £11million deal for the 21-year-old.

Adkins was reluctant to comment on Ramirez until he has completed his move.

He said: "Until the pieces of paper are signed you can never say it's done, but the chairman is working exceptionally hard behind scenes, backing us in what we do.

"We are very ambitious and there is serious cash to be outlaid if it's going to happen."

Mayuka arrives at Southampton with a good reputation after scoring 32 times in two seasons at Young Boys Berne.

The 21-year-old also impressed during Zambia's successful African Nations Cup campaign, where he was joint top scorer after netting three times.

"Emmanuel is a lightning-quick striker who I am sure will excite the fans," Adkins told Southampton's website.

"He is only 21 years old but already has a great deal of experience, notably so at international level.

"He will bring something different to the group that we already have here at Southampton, and I look forward to seeing him pull on our shirt for the first time."

If last night's result is anything to go by, Southampton will not struggle for goals this term.

Japan striker Tanadari Lee opened the scoring with a cool finish, a quick bit of thinking allowed Billy Sharp to make it 2-0 and Jason Puncheon and Ben Reeves both hit superb strikes to seal an impressive first win of the season.

Stevenage were furious that referee Oliver Langford allowed the visitors' second to stand, however.

Langford awarded Saints a free-kick inside the Stevenage area after he ruled that Mark Roberts had intentionally passed back to goalkeeper Chris Day when it was clear that the Stevenage skipper had merely slipped when looking to clear his lines.

Stevenage boss Gary Smith said: "The second goal was a pivotal moment in the game and if the referee shows a little more commonsense he will know from Mark's body shape he is looking to play the ball across the pitch to the full-back.

"He touches the ball with his standing foot and his other foot touches it back to the keeper. Without that there could have been a different slant on the game."