Tottenham have lost Italian club Bologna's Uruguayan playmaker Gaston Ramirez to Southampton in what must rank as one of the more surprising transfers of the season so far. The transfer was confirmed by the player in an ESPN report. The reported transfer fee is £12m.

Gaston Ramirez (L) is Expected to Sign for Southampton

"Bologna have reached an economic agreement with Southampton. There are only a few details to sort out, but they have found the agreement in principle, and the English club have reached an agreement with me," the 21 year old said.

The White Hart Lane club was understood to be in pole position to sign the attacking player, particularly after Liverpool, who were earlier linked, seemed to be less interested following the signing of Joe Allen from Swansea City. However, it seems that Spurs, who had a bid accepted for the player, were unable to offer him a salary package he was happy with.

"The only solid offer is the one from Tottenham, who offered €16 million [£12.6m.But the deal didn't go through because Spurs offered too low a wage to the player and if the wage difference is minimal he would stay at Bologna. Tottenham could raise their offer if they sell Modric and in that case the deal could be done, otherwise Ramirez will stay another year at Bologna. We also talked with Liverpool but nothing more," Oscar Betancourt, the player's agent, was quoted as saying.

"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. It is an offer that you cannot refuse. They will give me so much money," Ramirez told CorriereDello Sport, about his new club.

As to why Ramirez chose the Saints over the Spurs, comments made in CorriereDello Sport indicate it may have been simply a matter of money - Southampton were able/willing to offer him the fee Spurs were not. The player has been quoted as saying he expects to recieve £1.5m (net) per year, with an approximate £800,000 signing on fee.