Interest in Zarate kid
A host of clubs are keeping close tabs on Birmingham's loan star Mauro Zarate.
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 31/03/08 12:43pm
Mauro Zarate's brilliant double for Birmingham at the weekend did not go unnoticed, as a host of clubs were checking on the Argentine.
The 21-year-old joined Birmingham on loan from Qatar-based outfit Al-Sadd in January.
Zarate only moved to Qatar last year when he shocked Argentine football by accepting a lucrative switch to the Gulf state.
But after just a dozen games, the lure of one of Europe's big leagues was just too much for Zarate to turn down as he moved to St Andrews.
The youngster has since admitted that he regrets his move to Qatar and that he wants his long-term future to be in England.
Zarate has taken time to settle but his double salvo against Manchester City really announced his arrival in the Premier League.
Birmingham are now set to hold talks about his long-term future although Al-Sadd want big money as they paid $20million (£10million) for him less than 12 months ago.
Blues boss Alex McLeish is now considering his options, but he will be aware of the rival interest which is now emerging.
Newcastle, who made a late bid in January to land him, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City and Sunderland are all believed to be keeping a very close eye on the situation.
Zarate's Argentinean representative Christian Otero confirmed that talks would soon take place with Birmingham.
"Mauro is loving life at Birmingham," Otero told skysports.com.
"He is very impressed with everything at the club from the management down, he loves the fans and is very happy in the city.
"Of course there is a lot of interest in Mauro, which is natural given how well he is playing.
"But Birmingham are the club we want to talk with and we will be doing that shortly."