Zarate future unclear
Lazio are in danger of losing Mauro Zarate, with a number of clubs, including Man City, interested.
By Graeme Bailey & Patricio Figueroa
Last Updated: 09/01/09 10:36am
Lazio are in danger of losing Mauro Zarate, with a number of clubs, including Manchester City, interested.
Zarate, who spent the latter part of last season on loan at Birmingham, has made a huge impact on Serie A since joining the Roman club on loan.
Zarate has bagged eight goals for Lazio and they have been keen to secure a permanent deal with Al Sadd.
However, skysports.com understands that although Lazio have first refusal, a deal with Zarate is not in place, so the player will have the final say on where he ends up.
The likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and Inter Milan have been linked with the young forward - but a move back to England could be in the pipeline.
Aston Villa and Tottenham have been linked, but one of the agents involved in the deal claims Manchester City are primed to make a move.
"The Arabs who own the club [City] are interested in him," Jose Alberti, told Novantesimo.
"We spoke last month and they told me they were ready to offer £30million to buy him.
"Their aim is to get to the same level as Real Madrid during the 'galactico' era.
"But the player is Lazio's to lose."
The player's brother, Sergio, says Zarate will speak to Lazio about his future but admits the 21-year-old is undecided.
"We'll talk at the end of January," he said. "Mauro wants to stay, but we must first look around."
Meanwhile, Lazio also face an English battle to land another Argentine - Boca Juniors star Sebastian Battaglia.
The one-time Villarreal midfielder is believed to be only looking for a loan move with a view to a permanent deal and Lazio have made their move.
However, skysports.com understands Tottenham are one of a handful of Premier League clubs keeping a close eye on the 28-year-old's situation.
"If Lazio wants him we will talk about it again. There could be a financial agreement with Boca and the player," one of Battaglia's representatives, Martin Guastadisegno, said.
"Next week there will be a meeting with the president Lotito. I would be very happy to reach an agreement with Lazio and take Battaglia to play in Italy.
"Battaglia would like very much to play in Italy, so we will see if we can resolve the transaction. He wants to return to Europe. He is currently Boca's most important player.
"There isn't a precise fee on Battaglia and there are even English teams also interested so an offer is necessary and then after that we can discuss his price."