Tuesday August 23 2011
Reja: 'Zarate refused to play'

Edy Reja has confirmed that Mauro Zarate “wants to leave Lazio, as he pulled out of the Europa League game. It's not the first time.”

Rumours of the striker pushing for a transfer have been rife for over a year, but intensified when he did not play in the Europa League play-off against Rabotnicki.

“Zarate was the one who pulled out of that game,” revealed Coach Reja. “As far as I was concerned, he's part of our UEFA list. It's not the first time he has behaved this way.

“It seems to me he wants to leave, so perhaps didn't want to block a transfer by making himself cup-tied.”

Zarate's brother has told the media there are personal problems between the player and his Coach.

“For me, the players are all the same. His brother's comments mean nothing to me, as Beppe Bozzo is Zarate's agent. I can only say I don't have it in for anyone and hearing these rumours makes me angry.

“I gave some guidelines to the club, but never stated anyone had to leave. If Zarate goes, we don't have any planned replacements lined up. I would be happy if he stayed, because it'd give me more alternatives.

“Will there be disciplinary action? That's up to the club. His qualities are beyond doubt, but his behaviour needs to change.

“He's set to become a father soon and perhaps it will give him a greater sense of responsibility. He can mature and improve so much, above all in his attitude, but it depends on him. I leave the doors open.

“He has quality, but has got to grow in terms of mentality and consistency, both in a match situation and in training. Sometimes he wants to work, other times he doesn't.

“Maurito turned up to pre-season training at least 5kg overweight and I cannot fail to take that into account. I am tired of covering up for everyone and I am the only one getting criticised.

“Enough is enough. Lazio had a great transfer campaign, spending more than usual, and now we hope the results arrive. I have been in football for 50 years and I know how to control a squad.”

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