Lazio striker Mauro Zarate may not have managed to score against Tottenham in their recent clash in the Europa League, but there nonetheless appears to be an interest in his services in England. Liverpool in particular are thought to be keen to sign the striker, but with Malaga and Stoke also in the mix, they could have a fight on their hands. talkSPORT's Transfer Spotlight has more...
Name: Mauro Matias Zarate
Date of birth: 18/03/87
Birthplace: Haedo, Argentina
Position: Supporting striker
Honours: 2005 Torneo Clausura, Coppa Italia (2008/09), Supercoppa Italiana (2009), FIFA World Youth Championship (2007)
International appearances: Capped at Argentina U20 level
What's the latest?
Mauro Zarate has only played one league game with Lazio since returning from a loan spell with Inter last summer, and though he has also made five appearances in the Europa League, that does not seem to be enough for the Argentine. A fee of around £12m has been slapped on his head as a result, and though Liverpool are said to be top of the list of the clubs interested, they'll need to fight off Spanish Champions League newcomers Malaga and mid table Stoke.
Did you know?
1) Born in Buenos Aires, Mauro Zarate is the youngest of four brothers who all have careers in football. Rolando Zarate plays for Argentine second division side Defensa y Justicia, while Ariel ran out for first division team, All Boys. Mauro's agent, meanwhile, is his other brother, Sergio.
2) The forward made his professional debut with Velez Sarsfield in 2004 at the age of 17, and by the following season he had won the Clausura title with the side. It was only in 2006, however, following the departure of his brother Rolando to Tigres in Mexico, that Mauro became a regular starter in the side. In total, he scored 28 goals in 99 games for Velez.
3) Despite being heavily linked with a move to Sevilla, Zarate instead made the unusual switch to Al-Sadd in Qatar for the 2007/08 season. His time in Qatar was unhappy and short-lived, however, and within six months he had been loaned out to Birmingham, playing 14 games and scoring four goals for the Midlands side. Offers soon came in to Al-Sadd for his signature the following summer, notably from Boca Juniors and Arsenal, but it was Italian side Lazio who won the race, snapping him up on a loan move with the option to buy at the end of the 2008/09 season.
4) At Lazio the striker finally saw an upturn in his fortunes, scoring a brace on his Serie A debut against Cagliari, and he would later go on to score against Milan at the San Siro, further endearing him to the Lazio supporters. His most important contribution to the club was opening the scoring after just four minutes in the 2009 Coppa Italia final win against Sampdoria, while also tucking his spot kick away in the penalty shoot-out to lift the cup. The striker scored nine goals and assisted eight in 35 appearances during his first spell with the club.
5) In 2011, Zarate went on loan to Inter, and scored his first ever Champions League goal against CSKA Moscow only a month after his arrival at the San Siro. He had to wait until April 2012 to score his first Serie A goal with the side, however, and unsurprisingly, Inter opted not to make the loan deal permanent in the summer of 2012, sending him back to Rome.
“It makes little sense for Mauro to continue in his current situation. It's a shame to see such a talent wasted on the bench. There are three Premier League clubs who have asked about him. Liverpool, Arsenal and Stoke City are interested in Zarate. He still has many admirers in the Premier League.”
- South American football expert Josè Alberti on Zarate.
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