Date: 18th January 2008 at 12:40pm
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Everything Alex McLeish touches appears to be turning to gold at the moment – and the latest piece of good news is that Argentine wonderkid Mauro Zarate looks set to be loaned to Birmingham until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old striker, who helped Argentina win the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in the summer by scoring the winning goal in the final, has been given permission to join Birmingham until the summer, with a possible permanent deal at the end of the campaign.

A statement on Qatari club Al-Sadd’s website read: “Al-Sadd agreed terms of Zarate’s loan move to the Premiership club of Birmingham City until the end of the current season with a possible permanent transfer thereafter.

“No specific date is set for the Argentina sensation’s departure to London and no such date will be fixed until after Al-Sadd’s do-or-die encounter against Q-League leader Al-Gharrafa on Friday. Al-Sadd management would then ink a final agreement with the English side including the date of Zarate’s travel to the UK.”



Although Al-Sadd are not the biggest name in football, Zarate is highly rated in his native Argentina and there were a few raised eyebrows when he left Velez Sarsfield for Qatar in the summer, in a move that apparently had more to do with creating financial security for the player rather than footballing reasons.