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Southampton boss Pochettino ponders Ramirez agent criticism

Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino is tightlipped on an outburst from the agent of Gaston Ramirez this week.

The player's agent, Pablo Betancourt, was reported in Italy to have claimed Ramirez really likes the chairman, Nicola Cortese, but not Pochettino.

"I don't really have an opinion on what is in the press regarding those matters," the Argentinian said in response.

"I really don't have a comment on that. I only make decisions based on sports factors, on the performance of the team, for the good of the team.

"I have no preference for any of the 24 players I have available to me. I just make decisions on sports factors."

Ramirez was signed to much fanfare last year, with Saints paying Bologna what was at the time a club record fee of £12million.

Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid and Napoli have all recently been linked to the player, who was not in the squad for Southampton's 2-0 defeat of Swansea before the international break.

"I don't want to speak publicly about individual players," Pochettino said of Ramirez's absence. "I don't think that's fair.

"I just make decisions on what is the best thing for the club, the team. I just make decisions based on training and sports factors.

"I try to make the best decisions for my team to win games, to play in a good manner.

"It is always clear that there are 11 starting players, seven on the bench and there is five or six players that have to be left out, so it is a mathematical equation."

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