A rumour has reached us in the Football Transfer Tavern courtesy of Dave Kidd of the Daily Mirror, that Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill is lining up a loan move for a South American striker.
Lazio’s forward Mauro Zarate is the man in question, with O’Neill facing competition from West Ham United and QPR for the Argentine’s signature.
O’Neill is desperate to bolster his attacking options at the Stadium of Light, with Steven Fletcher providing the vast majority of the goals so far this season.
Zarate, who can play as a second striker or winger, is available on loan for the rest of the season, with a view to a permanent £5 million deal, after falling out of favour with Lazio’s coach Vladimir Petkovic.
West Ham enquired about the strikers availability before signing Joe Cole, whilst Harry Redknapp is also reportedly keen.
Sunderland appear to be in the box seat, but O’Neill will know he must tie up a deal fast to avoid having the player – who completed a loan spell with Birmingham City in 2008 – being snapped up from under his nose.