Middlesbrough target Gaston Ramirez released by Southampton

Gaston Ramirez (left)
Gaston Ramirez (left)

Southampton have confirmed the departure of £12million midfielder Gaston Ramirez.

The Uruguay international was a club-record signing for Saints in 2012 but started just 28 matches in four years at St Mary's.

Ramirez was frozen out by current boss Ronald Koeman and spent last term on loan with Hull before ending the current season at Middlesbrough.

Newly-promoted Boro are understood to be keen on signing the 25-year-old permanently after he scored seven goals in 15 Championship starts.

Veteran goalkeeper Kelvin Davis is also out of contract but is in talks over a new role behind the scenes at the club.

The 39-year-old former Sunderland stopper joined Saints when they were a League One club in 2006 and had a testimonial last week.

Executive director of football Les Reed said: "Kelvin's tremendous passion and commitment to the club are two of the reasons why we are currently in conversations with him about a new role moving forward, in which he can continue to help the club's progression."

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail are reporting that England plan to fast-track left-sided central defenders into their senior set-up after Euro 2016 - with Boro's Ben Gibson among those being considered.

Manager Roy Hodgson has previously bemoaned the lack of left-sided centre backs heading into this summer’s tournament, with the FA keen to blood left-sided centre halves to help fill the void.