Some players are continually linked with transfers and when they finally make a move the list of clubs supposedly interesting at one time or another is longer than the list of people wanting to give Gennaro Gattuso a slap.
The object of this story, Cristian Zapata, has been linked to quite a few clubs by this point and the rumours circling about his ‘imminent departure’ from Udinese have been going around for about 2 years….nothing imminent about that!
Well now it seems that Arsenal and Manchester City are going to make renewed attempts to secure the signing of the Colombian international.
Zapata started his career in his native Colombia, playing for Deportivo Cali with whom he spent one season as a youngster, then at the age of 18 the central defender moved half way round the world and signed a contract with Italian side Udinese. Since his arrival he has become a consistent performer in the sides defensive unit and has for a long time drawn admiring glances from a host of clubs wanting to play him at a higher level. His good form for Udinese was rewarded with a new contract in October 2007 so he is now contracted to the club until 2012. He has gone on to play 127 games during his 5 seasons in Italy and now at 24 interest in him is getting stronger than ever.
The player is primarily a central defender but can also play in either full back position, although he is naturally right footed he is also pretty adept at using his left. A tall player with good aerial ability his skill-set should be easily transferable to most European leagues, and should he continue to fulfill his potential he could be an excellent player.
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In the past there has been strong interest from the following teams Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Zenit St Petersburg and AC Milan amongst others. He has become a highly fancied player in European football and it now seems that Arsenal and City that are ready to turn their interest into firm offers.
Roberto Mancini has had his scouts watching Zapata recently and press reports suggest that a bid this Summer is imminent as he looks to strengthen his sometimes leaky back line. Arsenal are also ready to put a bid together as they look for new faces to play in their defensive unit.
Udinese have supposedly made it clear to both clubs that they expect at least £8.5million for the player in order to do business, a price that shouldn’t really be beyond either side. Obviously should offers be formalised there is the chance that other bids could materialise from other sides, something which would benefit Udinese greatly.
Ultimately who the player picks is hard to judge at this point, offers of games and Champions League football would surely be an attractive proposition to the player. Either way it seems one of the most watched players in Europe may finally be on the move this Summer, and about time too!
Let me know what you think on twitter @soccercityjoe!
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