Nigel Expecting 'Exciting' Deadline

By SFC Media Fri 31 Aug Club

First Team Manager Nigel Adkins says he is expecting a busy final few hours of the summer transfer window.

Saints have already agreed deals for Zambia forward Emmanuel Mayuka and Japanese centre-back Maya Yoshida, but remain in the hunt for more additions before tonight's 11pm deadline.

And gaffer Nigel revealed that the Club are now closing on the acquisition of Bologna's Uruguayan international Gastón Ramírez.

He told Saints Player: "We're delighted with the two we've already signed and there's a lot of speculation about Ramírez, who we are very close to signing. 

"We're getting all paperwork finished and completed, so we're very hopeful that will be done by the deadline today.

"It's a massive transfer," he said of Ramírez's imminent arrival.

"He's a talented football player - a lot of people will have seen him play in the Olympics. He's young, hungry and dynamic; he creates goals and scores goals; he's at a good age; and, all being well, he can bring some dynamism to our football team.

"Him coming in will improve the group of players that we've got. We're in the Barclays Premier League now and, when you look at the figures that are getting bandied about on transfer fees and wages, it is a big league. 

"For us to go and compete with the better teams is always going to be a challenge, so great credit to the Chairman for putting the money on the table. 

"Hopefully we can get this one across the line."

And Adkins did not rule out the possibility of Gastón being far from the only arrival at St Mary's this evening: "I think it's going to be quite exciting," he said. 

"I've just arrived at the stadium from the training ground where the lads have been working very hard this morning. 

"I'm sure we won't be leaving the stadium until gone 11pm – there's a lot of negotiation and talk in the things that go on, and we've got until that deadline.

 

"We've worked very hard all summer, and we'll continue to do that to give Southampton Football Club an opportunity to do well this year to give ourselves an opportunity in the Barclays Premier League."

Adkins had the opportunity to welcome Mayuka to the Club when he visited the stadium this afternoon, while Yoshida is due to link up with his new team after the international break.

And the gaffer is looking forward to working with the 24-year-old, who skippered Japan at the London 2012 Olympics.

"I saw Maya the other day and we had a good conversation," he said. "His English is exceptional for a Japanese player and it's obviously helped with him being over in Holland for the last couple of years. 

"He's a talented football player. He's gone and joined up with the Japanese team over the international break and, when that's concluded, he'll come and join up with us in preparation for the rest of the campaign."

With all that the last day of the transfer window entails, it is easy to forget that Saints are less than 48 hours away from a massive game.

Manchester United visit St Mary's on Sunday afternoon, with Adkins excited at the opportunity for his team to pit their wits against one of the giants of the English game.

"A couple of years ago, we could only dream about playing Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League," he said.

"We played them in the FA Cup [in January 2011] and what a great day that was, but now it's in the league so it's the real thing and the real deal.

"We know it's going to be challenging, but we've got to make it challenging for them.

"It's going to be a full house, so everyone has got to get behind the Saints. We've got to give ourselves every opportunity to get three points from the game.

"Man Utd have consistently been at the top and have won the Premier League on a regular basis, and the players they have got are top quality.

"You would class them as being the favourites, but in any two-horse race either horse has got an opportunity to win.

"[The first two fixtures] have underlined the intensity that the games are played at and the quality of the opposition – if you knock off for two seconds, they've all got quality strikers who will punish you if given a chance.

"We've found that in the last two games and we've got to grasp that - and we will because we're a learning club.

"We're faced with a challenge in front of us, so we'll embrace that and look forward to it.

"Ultimately, we want to be a winning club here at Southampton."

Click here to watch Nigel Adkins' one-on-one interview on Saints Player now.

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