x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Liverpool look to Inter's Zarate to fill void left by Suarez

The Argentine forward, who could be signed on loan, has many of the same attributes as Suarez, who will miss seven more games as a result of his FA ban.

Mauro Zarate is on a season-long loan at Inter Milan from Lazio, but has fallen down the pecking order at San Siro.
Mauro Zarate is on a season-long loan at Inter Milan from Lazio, but has fallen down the pecking order at San Siro.

Liverpool are considering signing Mauro Zarate on loan as they seek cover for Luis Suarez's long-term suspension from football. The Argentine striker not only plays in a similar style to Liverpool's first-choice in the position, he also has past experience of the Premier League.

Zarate, 24, joined Inter Milan on a season loan in August yet has fallen out of favour at San Siro during a tumultuous season in which Claudio Ranieri became the club's fourth managerial appointment in 15 months. His transfer rights are owned by Lazio, who loaned him to Inter for €3 million (Dh14.25m) with a €15m end-of-season option to buy.

Suarez began an eight-match suspension for racially abusing Patrice Evra in Tuesday's 3-0 away loss at Manchester City. Having reluctantly accepted the English Football Association's punishment for the offence, he will be unavailable until at least the end of this month, missing League fixtures against Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers and Wolverhampton, this weekend's FA Cup tie with Oldham Athletic, and the two-legged League Cup semi-final versus City.

With Andy Carroll still struggling to establish himself at Anfield and Craig Bellamy's contribution limited by chronic knee problems, Liverpool are looking for a forward capable of sustaining their challenge for a Champions League berth.

Like Suarez - who established himself focus of Liverpool's attack since joining from Ajax last January - Zarate's chief strength is an ability to run directly at defenders.

Zarate scored four Premier League goals in 14 appearances while on loan at Birmingham City in 2008 before moving to Lazio in a complicated €20m deal that resulted in a Fifa investigation.

In March 2010, he was forced to protest his ignorance after being caught exchanging fascist salutes with the Lazio support.

sports@thenational.ae