Zarate a happy Blue
Argentine keen to stay
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: April 1, 2008 9:05am
Argentine star Mauro Zarate has reiterated how happy he is at Birmingham.
Skysports.com revealed on Monday that a host of clubs were chasing the young striker after his impressive recent form.
Both Newcastle and Tottenham, who made moves for him in January, are amongst the clubs to have again shown an interest, but Birmingham still look favourites to sign Zarate on a permanent deal in the summer.
Zarate joined Birmingham on loan from Qatar-based side Al-Sadd in January and has settled in well to life in England's second city.
"Birmingham were the first club to come in for me and the ones that pushed the hardest to get me out of there [Al-Sadd]," he said.
"Once I knew Birmingham wanted to sign me, I did my best to convince the Al-Sadd owners.
"There were other clubs interested just before I signed here. From England, there were Tottenham and Newcastle. But I am very happy with my choice.
"I never thought Al-Sadd would let me go, because they paid a very high transfer fee for me [£10million] just a few months ago.
"But I knew the chance to come to Birmingham was very important. After speaking to Al-Sadd a few times and pushing them for a move to England, they agreed to let me go - and here is the result.
"Maybe here I have the chance to play more regularly, and it's great to be in the team now. I like the city and the atmosphere at the stadium."
Up for battle
Zarate is adamant that Birmingham will stay in the Premier League.
"My message to supporters is that Blues will stay in the Premier League," he said.
"I will do everything I can to help. I hope the fans will remember the contribution I made in England. I would like to stay here for many years - but I know I will have to fight for it.
"I am here to make my mark and make people remember me. I will give my best to make sure that happens. English football is quick and physical, but that is not a problem for me.
"Since I was a child, the two leagues I admired most were the English and the Spanish leagues.
"Almost every game is shown Argentina, so I am a big fan of the English game. I like the speed of the game and the quality players that are playing here."