Lazio’s Mauro Zarate could be headed for Arsenal

Feb 19, 2010
Bill Mann

Transfer Talk: But Lazio boss Edy Reja says he’s too selfish to be a team player; Cole to United?

Argentine ace Mauro Zarate could soon be on his way to the Emirates, according to the Daily Mail. The Lazio striker has apparently had enough of being left on the bench and is thinking of "ripping up his contract" and heading to Arsenal.

But would the 22-year-old Zarate be able to adapt the Gunners' ethos of playing pretty football while losing key matches? Perhaps not, if Lazio boss Edy Reja is to be believed. He's said of Zarate "that he doesn't pass the ball much and needs to work for the team".

That comment brought a sharp riposte from Zarate's brother and agent, Sergio Mauro, who said his brother's selfishness was good for Lazio: "It is because he is so individualistic that Zarate has scored 30 goals in Italy," fumed Mauro, "so I think he should be left in peace.

"I don't think Reja knows him yet and when he understands the quality of the player, he'll take all this back and will always put him in the starting XI. If Lazio feel that they do not need him, then that is very simple. We just need the coach to tell president Claudio Lotito and get him to rescind the contract."

Meanwhile Gerard Pique (an apt name for a Barcelona player) is the latest shameless Spaniard to stick his oar into the Cesc Fabregras saga. "One day he will wear the Barca shirt again," simpered Pique, "because he is a fan and I know that he wants to come back in the future. He is a player that should play here and he wants to come, but we will have to wait and see when that is." Perhaps if Pique spent more time doing his job as a centre-back and less time nattering to the press Barcelona wouldn't have been humiliated by Atletico Madrid as they were on Sunday.  

Could Joe Cole be on his way out of sex-mad Stamford Bridge? According to the London Evening Standard the 28-year-old England midfielder "is a transfer target for Manchester United". The Blues refused to comment on reports linking Cole to Old Trafford but are confident the player will stay loyal to the club.

Cole is out of contract in the summer and the Standard says talks on a new deal "have dragged on for weeks and are no nearer being concluded". The impasse seems to be having an adverse on Cole's form and he was dragged off at half-time in last week's FA Cup victory over Cardiff, though Chelsea skipper and devoted husband John Terry brushed off suggestions that Cole was struggling with his form. "He had a problem last week with the other knee," said Terry. "But he was just beginning to buzz again - setting up the first goals against Birmingham and Burnley."

Although Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti insists Cole has a future at the club, the Standard suggests otherwise, with Manchester United circling the player.

The Mirror reports that Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici is a "£2 million target" for Tottenham. Aussie international Federici, 24, is desperate to swap the Madejski Stadium for White Hart Lane and Spurs boss Harry Redknapp sees him as providing good competition for Lilywhites' current shot-stopper Heurelho Gomes.

Federici, who has also been targeted by Liverpool in the past, told the Mirror: "I want to play in the Premier League and I believe I will one day – whether it is with Reading or somewhere else. There has been a fair bit of interest from all over the place."

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