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Zarate’s agent declares ‘war’ on Lazio; Joe Cole nears West Ham switch

Mauro Zarate's representative Luis Ruzzi has declared 'war' on Lazio president Claudio Lotito after the club placed a £5 million price-tag on the out-of-favour Argentine forward.

Mauro Zarate’s representative Luis Ruzzi has declared ‘war’ on Lazio president Claudio Lotito after the club placed a £5 million price-tag on the out-of-favour Argentine forward, Sky Sports understands.

Zarate, 25, has made one league appearance for Lazio this season after spending last season on loan at Inter Milan.

The former Argentina Under-20 international tallied three goals and three assists in 29 appearances (in all competitions) for the Nerazzurri last term.

According to reports, Zarate is attracting interest from a number of European clubs, including English Premier League trio Arsenal, Liverpool and Stoke City. Turkish Super League giants Fenerbahce and Russian club Spartak Moscow are also reportedly keen on the 25-year-old Argentine.

However, Zarate’s agent Luis Ruzzi has insisted that the clubs interested in his client will not meet Lazio’s £5 million asking price, leading to Ruzzi declaring ‘war’ on Lazio president Claudio Lotito.

“Fenerbahce? We’re talking about clubs that will never bid that kind of money,” Ruzzi told Tuttomercatoweb.com.

“I have toured Europe and there are no clubs interested in paying that kind of fee which Lotito is asking for.

“Now the war begins. We will not accept a loan because we have no intention of returning to Lazio.

“Dealing with such a man as Lotito is so difficult and we have made our position clear to him.

“If Lazio don’t lower their asking price, then we will have to consider other possibilities at the end of his contract. We will give Lotito five days to make a decision.”

Joe Cole nears West Ham switch

Liverpool attacking midfielder Joe Cole is on the verge of joining West Ham United, with the former England international undergoing a medical with the Hammers, Sky Sports reports.

Cole, 31, has made 10 appearances for Liverpool in 2012-13, including six substitute appearances in the Premier League.

The 31-year-old spent last season on loan at French club Lille OSC, and has been linked with Queens Park Rangers in recent weeks.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is looking to bring in players to solidify his squad heading into the second half of the 2012-13 Premier League campaign.

“We have been trying very hard over the last few weeks to line up in the short term rather than the long term,” revealed Allardyce.

“We will wait and see as January develops whether we get any joy or not, but what we can say is that we have got our feelers out.”

The Hammers are currently in 11th-place in the Premier League table, having tallied 26 points from 20 league games this season.

Wed 2 January, 2013
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