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West Ham United transfer news: Hammers close in on signing Argentine striker Mauro Zarate

The 27-year-old had a loan spell with Birmingham City in 2008

West Ham United are closing in on signing Argentine centre-forward Mauro Zarate, according to his brother and agent.

Zarate, who scored four goals in 14 games during a loan spell with Birmingham City in 2008, has revealed how he has played his final game for Argentine side Velez Sarsfield and begun preparations for his return to England.

The 27-year-old started his career at Velez and has since gained good experience playing in Italy for Lazio and Inter Milan.

His brother, Rolando, a former Argentina international himself, said: "We have almost everything sorted out with West Ham, they asked him not to play against San Lorenzo but he wanted to play.


"Mauro Zarate and his family's love for Velez is huge, but the club receive a good financial compensation."


Sky Sports are reporting how Zarate will arrive in England later this week and has received interest from other clubs both in the Premier League and around Europe but after long-term interest from West Ham, east London is the striker’s favoured choice.

Zarate performed well for Velez last season, scoring 18 goals in 28 starts, and left in the perfect way, scoring twice in a victory over San Lorenzo in his final game.

If the deal is completed, Zarate would be the first signing for the Hammers this summer and is a player that would help Sam Allardyce.

The West Ham boss was ensured of his future at the club but was told he must bring a more entertaining brand of football to Upton Park and Zarate should be a good start in doing so.