Belfast Telegraph

Zarate: I'm not leaving West Ham

Mauro Zarate has moved to allay fears he is set to look for a move away from West Ham in the January transfer window.

The 27-year-old only joined the Hammers in the summer but reports emerged on Thursday morning containing quotes from Luis Ruzzi, who claimed to be the Argentinian's agent, which declared Zarate's unhappiness at Upton Park.

The former Birmingham loanee enjoyed a good start to his career at West Ham as he scored a memorable goal in their first Barclays Premier League win of the season at Crystal Palace in August.

Since then a combination of a thigh injury and the form of fellow new recruits Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia have seen Zarate's first-team chances dwindle, but despite Ruzzi's claims his role playing off the striker would see the player search for a move to Italy, Zarate used Twitter to rubbish the rumours.

"According to recent news articles I would like to inform that I have no agent and I never said that I wanted to leave West Ham," he wrote on the social media site.

"If that would happen it would be because of a joint decision of the club and myself. The most important thing is that West Ham will keep progressing. The manager is doing a great job and has my full support! Come on you Irons!!!!!!"

Zarate, who was the top scorer in the Argentinian Primera Division with 13 goals in 19 games for Velez Sarsfield last season, has been strongly linked with a move to Serie A side Torino.

The former Lazio and Inter Milan player spent a total of five seasons in Italy before returning to Argentina to play for first club Velez in the 2013-14 campaign.

He has since made the move back into the Premier League but has made just five appearances and is yet to play a full 90 minutes as Sam Allardyce's side continue a fine start to the season which sees them sitting fourth in the table.

With Sakho already on seven goals for the season, Valencia impressing since his big-money summer move and club-record signing Andy Carroll nearing full fitness the fight for first-team places in West Ham's attack is fierce, but Zarate appears ready to battle for a spot after declaring he is happy at the club.

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