The agent of Liverpool and Arsenal target Mauro Zarate has declared 'war' on Lazio president Claudio Lotito, after the club slapped a hefty price-tag over his head, which looks set to scupper a transfer for his client in January.
Sky Sports reports how the former Birmingham City striker's contract expires in 2014, and the Serie A giants will demand at least £5million before allowing him to leave the Stadio Olimpico.
The Argentine has been linked with a host of different clubs over the past few months, with Spartak Moscow and Fenerbahce also believed to be monitoring Zarate's situation, in addition to the trio of Premier League sides, with Stoke City believed to be rivalling Liverpool and Arsenal for the player's signature.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is known to be in the market for attacking reinforcements this month, with Luis Suarez currently the only fit and recognised first-team striker at Anfield at the moment.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has also been linked with moves for a number of different forwards, as he too considers bringing in back-up for Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, who have both led the Gunners' line this season.
However, any hope either club might still have of signing Zarate in a cut-price deal have been slashed, after the player's representative, Luis Ruzzi, said that it's unlikely anyone will want to meet Lazio's valuation of the striker, who has fallen out of favour with manager Vladimir Petkovic.
"Fenerbahce? We're talking about clubs that will never bid that kind of money," he told Tuttomercatoweb.com. "I have toured Europe and there are no clubs interested in paying that kind of fee which Lotito is asking for.
"Now the war begins. We will not accept a loan because we have no intention of returning to Lazio. Dealing with such a man as Lotito is so difficult and we have made our position clear to him.
"If Lazio don't lower their asking price, then we will have to consider other possibilities at the end of his contract. We will give Lotito five days to make a decision."
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