SAINTS could be set to make a huge £21m loss on Gaston Ramirez.

It is estimated that the Uruguayan, whose contract expires at the end of this season, has cost the club that much since he arrived to much fanfare in the summer of 2012.

That £21m takes into account the attacking midfielder’s wages - reportedly around £60,000-a-week - and the the outlay of around £12m for his then record transfer from Serie A side Bologna.

It roughly works out at £8,000 for each of the 2,662 minutes Ramirez has played for the club – he’s made 55 appearances in almost four years so far.

And that figure doesn’t take into account his season-long loan at Hull City last term, making the presumption that the Tigers paid all his wages.

Ramirez has only shown glimpses of his undoubted talent during his spell and can be signed by clubs on a pre-contract agreement this month.

Struggles The general impression is that the attacking midfielder is far better suited to the slower paced and less physical league in Italy.

The 25-year-old has had his fair share of bad luck during his spell at Saints, having been hindered by constant injury struggles.

On top of that, the amount of travelling for Uruguay games he did early on in his time in Hampshire stopped Ramirez ever really settling in on the south coast. 

Ronald Koeman has never really shown any interest in utilising Ramirez either and he has been constantly linked with moves away since the Dutch manager’s arrival.

It now seems that Ramirez will either walk out the door for free in the summer or a deal will be done with any potential suitor this month.

Ramirez’s best season at St Mary’s was his first, when he appeared in 26 top flight games and scored five goals.

The following season, 2013/14, Mauricio Pochettino only handed him three starts plus 15 sub outings.

After spending last term on loan at relegated Hull, where he also struggled to hold down a regular place, he has made three league appearances for Saints in 2015/16 - all off the bench and totalling 28 minutes.

He is not the only costly flop Saints signed during the reign of previous chairman Nicola Cortese.

Controversial striker Dani Osvaldo’s calamitous transfer cost the club around £25m.

Between him and Ramirez, the club have wasted the best part of £50m.

Bad-boy Osvaldo head-butted team-mate Jose Fonte in training two years ago this month and never played for the club again.

He was farmed out on loan to Juventus, Inter Milan and Boca Juniors before Saints cut their losses last summer.