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Reported Sunderland Target Becomes Free Agent

As Sunderland's quest to sign all of the footballers on the planet rumbles on, one reported long-standing target has become a free agent.

Dino Panato

Rumoured long-time Sunderland target Mauro Zarate has revealed that he is now officially a free agent having won his battle to have his Lazio contract terminated.

The Argentinian forward made the announcement himself via his official Twitter account on Tuesday night, where he said:

From now on I’m free, finally I can go and play elsewhere.

Now I am happy again.

I thank the fans for three very beautiful years in Rome. I have always given my all to the Lazio shirt.

Whether or not Sunderland's interest in Zarate is genuine or not remains to be seen, but the player's agent spoke specifically about a potential move to Wearside in a radio interview last month, describing it as a 'viable solution'.

Zarate is, in many ways, an easy player to link with Sunderland. He shares Lazio connections with Paolo Di Canio, is well-known to Italian football, and now represents some real value considering there would be no transfer fee involved.

He doesn't come without controversy, however. The 26-year-old has a reputation to be difficult to manage, and he has even had clauses inserted into previous contracts to provide incentives to actually pass the ball.

One to keep an eye on, and we are sure his name will be linked again in the coming days, but for the moment we are not all that sure there is much in it.