The rumours surrounding the potential transfer of Mauro Zarate are gathering pace in Italy, with reports that Sunderland have opened talks over a loan deal, and the player himself determined to leave the Rome side.
Reputable Rome newspaper Il Tempo claiming Sunderland are now in negotiations with Lazio over a loan move through to the end of the season, with a 7m Euro option to buy.
This follows up nicely what Il Messeggaro said yesterday which was exactly the same, with a similar fee. The only difference is of course that Tempo claim talks have begun.
The player himself, or rather his agent, seems absolutely adamant his client will leave Lazio sooner rather than later, and a deal could be done in the next few days. Earlier this week Luis Ruzzi said;
The war has begun, and our position is clear.
To discuss with Claudio Lotito [Lazio President] is very difficult. He did not understand that he broke a jewel, he still thinks it's worth a lot.
We give him five days to review things, otherwise he [Zarate] will go. Too bad for him.
Things will move by the end of the transfer window.
From the date these quotes first appeared, five days are almost up, so it wouldn't be unexpected to see something potentially happen over this weekend's break (for us anyway).
Zarate is an interesting prospect. According to all reports his attitude absolutely stinks and he wouldn't fit in well to a team that relies on hard work. On the other hand, Martin O'Neill could see him as a project he can turn around. At the end of it all, if it's not working then he doesn't have to buy him.
When it comes to Zarate one thing is sure. The risks and rewards of any transfer are both incredibly high.