Transfer marketThursday, May 29, 2014
Leading goalscorer Zárate signed for West Ham
LONDON — West Ham has completed the signing of striker Mauro Zárate from Vélez Sarsfield on a three-year contract yesterday.
The 27-year-old enjoyed a prolific season in Argentina, where he finished as leading scorer in the Final Tournament with 13 goals in 19 appearances, and 20 in 35 in all competitions.
“My reaction is that I am very happy to be at West Ham,” the forward said in a statement released on the club’s official website.
Zárate spent the second half of the 2007-08 Premier League campaign on loan at Birmingham from Qatari side Al Sadd. He then moved to Italian side Lazio and also played in Serie A for Inter Milan.
West Ham coach Sam Allardyce has been told to make his team more entertaining next season after securing a third straight year in the Premier League.
“I hope I will bring goals to the squad. I will also bring dribbling skills and other attacking qualities,” said Zárate. “West Ham is a very important club and we know all about them and the Premier League in Argentina. This club is beautiful. I know English soccer from my time at Birmingham and I hope I will play well and reach the highest possible level.”
“My aim is come here and do my best in order to help the club to climb as high as possible in the table, and to reach European competition again,” he added.
At international level, he helped Argentina win the Under-20 World Cup in 2007, partnering Manchester City’s Sergio Agüero and scoring the winning goal in the final victory over Czech Republic.
“I speak with Sergio always and he told me to come to England because it is the soccer for me,” added Zárate, who will report for pre-season training with his new teammates on July 3.
CORREA MOVES TO ATLÉTICO. Spanish champion Atlético Madrid has agreed to sign teenage forward Ángel Correa from San Lorenzo on a five-year contract pending a medical.
“Our club has reached agreement with San Lorenzo on the transfer of the young Argentine talent,” Atlético said in a statement on its website late on Tuesday. “The young soccer player is known for his speed, talent and ability, which have made him one of the attacking reference points for his team, for whom he has scored eight goals this season.”
The Champions League runner-up is facing a summer of transition after a sensational season when it won its first La Liga title in 18 years and lost to city rival Real Madrid in the final of Europe’s elite club competition.
Several players who have impressed under Argentine coach Diego Simeone, including top scorer Diego Costa, midfielders Koke and Arda Turán, and defender Miranda, were targets for wealthier clubs, according to Spanish media.
Correa, 19, has helped favourite San Lorenzo reach the Libertadores Cup semifinals, which will be held after the conclusion of the World Cup finals in Brazil in July.
AP, Reuters, BBC