According to reports over the last few days, Arsenal and Spurs have held talks with Mauro Zarate’s agent, Beppe Bozzo, who had flown over to London. The former Birmingham City striker is thought to be valued somewhere in the region of €15 million by current club Lazio.
With Nicklas Bendtner set to leave, Wenger will probably be looking to bring in a second striker to partner Robin van Persie next season. Gervinho may have been a fantastic signing, but he is more an attacking winger than the out-and-out striker that we would need.
Paris Saint Germain and Manchester City have also expressed an interest in the Argentinean international, but Lazio have a lot of bargaining power when you bear in mind that he is under contract until 2014. Nobody would be stupid enough to meet his €60 million buy-out-clause, so clubs would therefore have to agree a fee with Lazio.
Although Lazio have not put Zarate on the transfer market, club president Claudio Lotito has revealed that the Italians would consider selling him if another club were to meet their valuation. Hopes of keeping hold of him for at least another season remain high, but Lazio would be foolish to turn down a big offer. Speaking to the Daily Mirror Lotito said:
“Zarate is not on the market, but it is clear that if a top offer was to arrive it would be considered.”
If I’m completely honest, I don’t remember Zarate being that fantastic when he was playing for Birmingham. That said, I am well aware that he has been a strong performer for Lazio week in week out and am sure that he would be a decent addition to the Arsenal squad.